Senegal is not in crisis, let alone at war but the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has just added the country to a list of 36 states that need help on food.
The FAO does not point to conflicts or tensions, and congratulates the authorities on the progress made in the agricultural sector.
However, this progress is insufficient because Senegal remains dependent on climate hazards and nearly 5% of the 15 million inhabitants could be, by this summer, food insecurity.
In opening its report, FAO notes the exceptional harvests in Senegal for the third year in a row, a direct result of the support of the authorities.
However, the state can do nothing against rain deficits, especially those of 2017. A lack of water that breaks the entire production chain.
The drop in forage quantities in nearly half of the country’s 42 departments is leading to an increase in livestock mortality.
Pasture areas are in high demand and they are also destroyed by bushfires, thus eliminating 14,000 hectares since the beginning of the year.
The situation is particularly complicated in northern Senegal because the farmers of neighboring Mauritania bring their animals across the border.
In addition to these unpredictable rains, there is the problem of the country’s dependence on imports of cereals from Asia and Brazil at prices that are therefore evolving.
For FAO, more than 300,000 people are currently food insecure. If nothing is done by August, this figure could rise to 750,000 people.