Agriculture and farming in Senegal


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Agriculture in Senegal

The country of Senegal on the west coast of Africa covers an area of almost 197,000 km² and has an estimated population of 17, 3 million people (2021), of which over 80 percent of the population lives in the western half of the country.

Senegal is the westernmost point on the African mainland, and its capital, Dakar, has historically served as the gateway to West Africa. The country is bordered to the west by the North Atlantic Ocean. On land, the nation's longest border is with Mauritania to the north, an 813 km border along the Senegal River. To the east is the border with Mali. In the southeast is Guinea and to the south-southwest is Guinea-Bissau (338 km), both borders running along the Casamance River. Senegal is one of only a handful of countries to have a near-enclave within its borders— Gambia. Senegal has a wide range of bioclimatic regions. The semiarid Sahel in the north is home to pastoral societies. The Sudanian region in the central and southern part of the country has a mix of settled farming communities and wooded savannas. In the sub-Guinean region of the southwest, rice-producing peoples live among forests and mangrove-fringed estuaries. Many of the woodlands in the central and southern regions have been degraded by charcoal production and overharvesting of timber for export. The large Niokolo-Koba National Park in the southeast still preserves diverse landscapes, flora and fauna once found across much of West Africa.

Despite its apparent uniformity, Senegal contains a great diversity of soils. These fall generally into two types—the valley soils and those found elsewhere. The soils of the Sénégal and Saloum river valleys in their middle courses are alluvial and consist of sandy loams or clays. Near the river mouths the soils are salty and favourable for grazing. Similar conditions are associated with the Gambia and Casamance rivers, except near their mouths the banks are muddy, whereas their upper courses have sandy clay soils. Many types of soils are found throughout the country. In the northwest the soils are ochre-coloured and light, consisting of sands combined with iron oxide. These soils, called Dior soils, constitute the wealth of Senegal; the dunes they form are highly favourable to peanut cultivation, whereas the soils between the dunes are suitable for other food crops, such as sorghum. In the southwest the plateau soils are sandy clays, frequently laterized (leached into red, residual, iron-bearing soils).

The climate of Senegal is tropical, with a long dry season (which runs roughly from mid-October to mid-June in the north, and from early November to mid-May in the south) and a rainy season (approximately, from late June to early October in the north, and from late May to late October in the south) due to the African monsoon, which in summer arrives from the south. Hence, in the south, the annual rainfall is more abundant and is between 600 and 1,500 millimetres (23.5 and 60 inches) per year, while in the north and the centre, which is part of the Sahel, the rainfall is below 600 mm (23.5 in).

The dry winds, sometimes called the dry monsoon, consist of the northeast trade winds. In winter and spring, when they are strongest, they are known as the harmattan. They bring no precipitation apart from a very light rain, which the Wolof people of Senegal call the heug.

Peanuts and cotton production in Senegal

Senegal’s economy is based primarily on agriculture, particularly the production of peanuts and cotton. In 2020, agriculture contributed around 15.82 %to the GDP of Senegal, while 23.09 % came from the industry and 49.02 % from the services sector. Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) in Senegal was reported at 29.43 % in 2020, according to the World Bank. Ninety percent of agricultural land is worked by small-scale, family-based farms engaged in subsistence agriculture. Farming systems are mostly rain-fed. Senegal’s dominant commodities are ground nuts (grown as a cash crop), rice, meat and millet, followed by fruits (such as watermelons and mangoes) and vegetables (tomatoes and onions). Despite this, the country imports about 70 percent of the rice it requires for domestic consumption. Peanut production accounts for around 40 percent of cultivated land and compose a primary source of income for the vast majority of family farms , according to a 2017 World Bank report.

Production of unshelled peanuts varies widely because of periodic drought, and production is frequently underreported because of unauthorized sales to processors in neighbouring countries. Total production was estimated at some 1.4 million tonnes in 2020. They account for some 50 percent of total agricultural exports, 75 % of which is made up of peanut oil.

Cotton is the second largest agricultural export, accounting for around 16 percent of total agricultural exports. It is grown in nearly every region and covers almost one third of cultivated acreage. However, production is concentrated in the South-Eastern part of the country, south of the Kahone–Tambacounda belt, as well as in the Casamance and Kédougou regions.

Crops production in Senegal

Rice, millet and sorghum are the main subsistence food crops for Senegal's rural population. Corn and fonio are also important cereal crops. Production of cereal food crops, such as rice, millet, corn and sorghum - which is often grown in rotation with peanuts - does not meet Senegal's needs. Only in years of good rainfall does the country approach self-sufficiency in millet, corn, sorghum and fonio.

The value of horticultural exports has more than quadrupled– from 25.8 million USD in 2000 to 123.6 million USD in 2015. Especially since 2012, when exports reached almost 100 million USD, the agri-food trade deficit became smaller. Senegal’s main export crops are French beans, tomatoes and mangoes, but produce variety is still expanding. Europe is still the main export market for Senegal's fresh fruits and vegetables. About 70% of the European market is dominated by four products including green beans, cherry tomato, mango and melon.

The production of sugar in Senegal started back in September 1972, mainly on the Senegal River valley in northern Senegal. In 2019, sugar cane production for Senegal was 1.09 million tonnes. Sugar cane production of Senegal increased from 850,000 tonnes in 2000 to 1.09 million tonnes in 2019 growing at an average annual rate of 1.37%.

Livestock production in Senegal

Livestock keeping is an important economic activity in Senegal where 50% of the population is estimated to own livestock. Livestock production, marketing and trade generate income for many actors in the value chain: producers, traders, transporters, and resellers Two main types of livestock mobility are practised. Transhumance is the seasonal movement of herds to adapt to pasture availability and climatic conditions and is essential for the resilience of pastoral communities in arid and semi-arid regions like east of the country. In Senegal traditional (pastoral) production systems prevail in the north, east, and south eastregions of the country while agro-pastoral livestock production dominates in the coastal regions and the south-west. The latter includes the Cassamanca basin which is the centre of groundnut agriculture, the dominating crop in Senegalese agriculture. The share of households keeping livestock varies from 90 percent in pastoral areas (Louga, Tambacounda) to 67 - 68 percent in rural areas around Dakar and Diourbel.

Senegal's milk production is far below the domestic needs and the milk industry is primarily based on the use of imported milk powder, primarily from Europe. The local milk production system relies on climatic conditions with higher production during the rainy season and a slowdown and even stoppage during the 7-month-long dry season.

The poultry industry has been increasing its overall production since the beginning of century. Local production is estimated at 14 million chickens in 2017, Chicken meat production represents about 75% of this production. In Senegal, the contribution of forest and other natural resources to the economy is not visible although it is real and important. The potential production of fauna and forest products is high and diversified but this sector is not fully accounted for in the macroeconomic indicators. Officially, the sector represents less than 1% of GDP. However the production of forest resources, mainly charcoal and wildlife, is estimated at $50 million yearly.

Fishing and seafood production in Senegal

Senegal's long coastline (around 530 km) and a productive continental shelf area makes fishing an important employer and economic engine for its 15 million population. Fishing contributes over three percent to national GDP and generates around 53 000 direct jobs and over half a million jobs indirectly, mainly in artisanal fishing and processing. Industrial fishing consists of sardine, tuna and trawler harvesting (shrimp, mullet, sole, cuttlefish, etc.). "Artisanal" catches are mainly for the local market with a large proportion purchased by local factories for processing. Senegal's fishing sector has historically been one of the country's largest sources of foreign currency. Fish and seafood are also part of the West African nation's diet, representing 43 percent of the country's animal protein intake, with the average person in Senegal eating around 24kg of fish a year.

Agricultural advertisements in Senegal, buy and sell classified ads

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Agricultural companies in Senegal

Dieye global food import and export sarl

Marchee gueule tapée 2

Goods and food

Hann mariste

SIPCO(Societe Internationale des Prestation et Commerce)




Allen Co

sicap iv

Elya agro bisness sarl

Senegal dakar


Fann hock


7,Avenue Lamine Gueye Dakar,Senegal

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