SENEGAL – The Senegalese government has set aside 120 billion FCFA (around US$197 million) to subsidize inputs during the 2024/2025 agricultural season, as the authorities commit to strengthening support for the productive system.

Making the announcement, Prime Minister Ousmane Sonko said that the decision was reached during an interministerial council he chaired on May 3. 

According to him, the envelope is an increase of 20% compared to the budget of 100 billion FCFA (around US$164 million) allocated to the subsidy program during the previous campaign.

In Senegal, the agricultural sector contributes around 15% to GDP and employs more than 20% of the active population.

The agricultural input subsidy program in Senegal has existed for 20 years, allowing beneficiary farmers to access fertilizer, seeds, and equipment at reduced costs.

The main targeted crops are cereals, peanuts, and certain horticultural crops.

Prime Minister Sonko noted that the move is part of a series of new measures adopted by the government to support the productive system.

The measures also include the digitalization of the input distribution system, intending to ensure complete traceability of agricultural subsidies.

“We plan to establish an identifier for each producer benefiting from the State subsidy and for each supplier of agricultural inputs by setting up a real-time management and monitoring platform. In addition, a military logistics cell of the Ministry of the Armed Forces will be created to contribute to the distribution of agricultural inputs,” declared the Prime Minister.

The subsidy injection comes after the country, recently, announced plans to reduce its wheat imports by at least 40% by 2028, an initiative that the executives hope will reduce the bill dedicated to future cereal purchases.

This was revealed by Momar Talla Seck, director general of the National Institute of Agricultural Research (ISRA) on November 2, 2023.

As part of this ambition, ISRA’s interventions focus on the development and supply of sufficient quantities of wheat seeds adapted to local climatic conditions to allow the cultivation of the cereal in the country.

According to Mr. Seck, ISRA has already succeeded in registering 8 varieties of wheat and is also working on other varieties that are under development.

“While waiting to have our own certified seeds, the process of which is underway, we are providing operators with seeds imported from Egypt. These were tested and gave interesting results with yields of 6 tonnes per hectare,” said Seck.

If so far the experiments carried out by ISRA have been carried out on an area of ​​approximately 5 hectares, the official adds that the next step will consist of the executive stimulating the cultivation of the cereal on a large scale.

For all the latest grains industry news from Africa, the Middle East, and the World, subscribe to our weekly NEWSLETTERS, follow us on LinkedIn, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.