The World Food Program reported a 30 percent decrease in rain fall in Mauritania compared to last year. These rains came irregularly, sometimes early, sometimes late and now the agropastoral season is threatened, according to the UN organization.
At the origin of this situation, a new episode of historical drought in the country that destabilizes the agro-pastoral world.
The pasture deficit in particular had a very heavy impact on the livestock sector causing early transhumance and high animal mortality. The government quickly set up a palliative measure to arrest the situation.
According to the Mauritanian authorities, in its 2018 budget, the government set aside more than 40 billion ouguiyas, or nearly 100 million euros, to buy livestock feed and sell it at a subsidized price. A measure welcomed by Wellad ould Haimdoum, president of the Federation of Mauritanian breeders.
“To date, we have received 26,000 tonnes of wheat and animal feed which has been distributed across the country, for the breeders to buy at subsidized prices. So it is a parliative measure that the state has put in place, “he said.
There about 20 million cattles in Mauritanian so, 26,000 tons of food seem so little to carter for such a huge number. Another problem is that of price speculation, as emphasized by Boydiel ould Houmeid, breeder in Trarza and mayor of Ndiago commune.
“This year, all that the state has bought is with the companies of the place, which means that there have been no new imports and this has driven up the prices on the local market. Mauritanians are very intelligent, they fetch the straw wherever it can be found, by tightening their belts to save their animals. The Mauritanian government is making effort to curb the scarcity but we think it is not enough, “he said.
A bag of 50 kilos of cattle feed sells for 3,000 ouguiyas at a subsidized price, it sales for 7,000 or 8,000 ouguiyas in the markets.