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Mali Agricultural Production Hampered by Civil Strife

17 January 2014

MALI - Harvesting of millet and sorghum, the major coarse grains produced in the country, was completed in November, while rice harvesting is almost complete.

Agriculture has been seriously damaged in recent months in parts of the country due to the civil strife.

Labour shortages due to population displacements, lack of agricultural support services in the northern half, fragmentation of the markets and other difficulties related to civil security have had serious negative impact on agricultural production and food markets.

These problems have been exacerbated in 2013 by erratic rains and extended dry spells throughout the growing season, which caused a reduction in planted area and affected yields.

A joint CILSS/FAO/FewsNet/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission that visited the country recently, estimated 2013 aggregate cereals production at some 5.5 million tonnes (including off-season crop harvest forecasts), about 18 per cent lower than the 2012 output and 8 per cent below the average of the previous five years.

The drop in cereal production was driven mostly by a steep contraction in coarse grains output. Production of millet, the most important staple, has declined by 30 per cent. By contrast, 2013 rice production was similar to previous year’s level.

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