FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Guinea, 17 December 2014

FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Guinea, 17 December 2014
Dec 2014

Highlights

  • The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak, which has severely affected the country since the beginning of the year resulted in a serious shock to the agriculture and food sectors in 2014. The epidemic started to spread when crops were being planted and grew during the crop maintenance period and expanded rapidly during the critical harvesting period for the staple crops rice, maize and cassava.
  • The aggregate food crop production in 2014 is estimated at 3.04 million tonnes (including cassava in cereal equivalent and rice in milled terms), about 3 percent lower than the record harvest of 2013. Of this total, milled rice production, estimated at 1.315 million tonnes, about 4 percent below the previous year, accounts for bulk of the cereal production. In the highly EVD affected province of N’zérékore, rice production declined by 8.5 percent compared to 2013.
  • The cereal import requirement in 2015 is estimated at 444 000 tonnes of cereals of which rice accounts for 320 000 tonnes. With commercial imports estimated at 400 000 tonnes, the uncovered gap amounts to 44 000 tonnes.
  • The significant impact of Ebola on export earnings is expected to have compromised the country’s ability to pay for the increase in cereal import requirements thus requiring international assistance.
  • According to remote surveys undertaken by WFP, Ebola appears to be a shock to an already precarious situation of chronic food insecurity, particularly in Forest Guinea.
  • Based on WFP estimates, 970 000 people, or 9 percent of the population, are estimated to be severely food insecure in December 2014. The EVD effects account for 230 000. The number of food insecure is projected to increase to 1.2 million in March 2015, 470 000 of which are Ebola driven. Almost 90 percent of the Ebola driven food insecure live in rural areas. Among income groups, petty traders and unskilled labourers have the highest share of food insecure people.
  • The analysis indicates that different type of food assistance will be required. In addition to covering the import gap, cash/voucher transfers can assure food access for some segments of the population. Given the reductions in trader activity, local purchase in surplus areas can also be recommended.
  • Frequent food security monitoring activities must continue as the situation is very fragile and could further flare up. The loss of livelihoods coupled with this market uncertainties means that there is a need for flexibility both in the type and scale of interventions that will be needed in 2015.