No.1  March 2016 
   Crop Prospects and Food Situation
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FAO’s first forecast for global wheat production in 2016 points to a small decrease, with lower outputs expected in Europe and the United States of America.

COUNTRIES IN NEED OF EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE: FAO estimates that, globally, 34 countries, including 27 in Africa, are in need of external assistance for food. Civil conflicts continued to severely affect the food security of a number of countries, while adverse weather, in some cases linked to El Niño, curbed production in others, constraining food access and pushing consumer prices up.

AFRICA: Adverse weather reduced 2015 cereal output, resulting in a significant increase in the number of food insecure people in several countries, with conflicts further affecting food security and the agriculture sector in parts. Planting of the 2016 crops has begun in Central, East and West Africa, while in Southern Africa, with the harvest expected to commence from April, El Niño-associated drought conditions have significantly dampened production prospects, with severe negative implications for food security in the subregion. In North Africa, 2016 production prospects are mixed, with ongoing drought in Morocco and Algeria lowering production expectations.

ASIA: The production outlook for the 2016 winter crops is generally favourable, with early forecasts indicating large wheat crops in most countries. In the Near East, however, persistent conflicts in Iraq, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen have continued to erode the capacity of the agriculture sector, affecting 2016 production prospects and further worsening the humanitarian crisis. The 2015 regional cereal output is estimated above the previous year’s level, mainly on account of increased harvests in China and Turkey that more than offset lower outputs in several countries of the Far East, in particular India.

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN: In Early 2016 cereal production prospects are mostly favourable, with harvests expected to remain at high levels, mainly as a result of large outputs anticipated in Mexico and South America. In Central America and the Caribbean, while Mexico is forecast to register an increase in production, elsewhere the continuation of El Niño-linked dry conditions may keep production depressed in 2016. In South America, cereal production in 2016 is forecast to decline slightly from the previous year’s record level, mostly reflecting a contraction in plantings, but is expected to remain well above average.

 Countries requiring external assistance for food

 Global overview

 LIFDC food situation overview

 Regional reviews
  Latin America and the Caribbean
  North America, Europe and Oceania
 Statistical appendix
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GIEWS   global information and early warning system on food and agriculture