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Benin Harvest Prospects Mixed Following Irregular Rains

01 November 2013

BENIN - Harvesting of first season maize crop has just been completed in the South. In the North, which only has one rainy season, the harvesting of cereals has begun.

Harvest prospects are mixed following below-normal rains at planting and subsequent erratic precipitation in several parts of the country, notably in the North. Food production in 2013 is likely to be lower than last year’s bumper crop.

A good crop was gathered in 2012 for the second time in a row. According to the final estimates, the 2012 cereal output was estimated at about 1.5 million tonnes, similar to the previous year’s record crop. This level of production was 12 per cent above the average of the previous five years.

Production of maize, the main staple cereal, was estimated at a record 1.1 million tonnes. The improvement was also driven by a significant growth in rice production which increased by 75 per cent over the previous two years.

Coarse grains prices affected by reduced supplies in Nigeria

In spite of the bumper crop gathered last year, cereal prices have remained relatively higher due to reduced imports from neighbouring Nigeria and increased cross-border export to Niger.

Cereal markets have been disrupted in Nigeria due to insecurity and reduced supplies from last year’s flood-affected crop, leading coarse grains prices to follow a sustained upward trend in the past months and limiting exports to neighbouring countries.

However, the beginning of the harvesting season in August has pushed prices down across the subregion.

Maize prices declined in Benin by up to 36 per cent between July and August 2013. Prices of imported rice, mainly consumed in urban centres, remained stable across the country in recent months, in line with trends in international markets.

TheCropSite News Desk

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