Reference Date: 27-March-2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Timely onset to the 2013 B season rainfall
Food prices decline slightly, but remain near record levels
Food security situation improves following the new harvest
The 2013 B cropping season is well underway
Planting for the 2013 B season (February-June) is almost complete. Rainfall started on time in mid-February and amounts are forecast at average to above average levels so far and along the season. The B season crops (mainly maize, beans, sorghum, rice and potatoes) account for 35 percent of total production.
2013 A season output set at slightly below average levels
Harvesting of the 2013 A season (September-February) crops is complete. Above average levels of rainfall between October and December 2012 have negatively affected the beans crop development in some south-eastern and north-western areas of the country. In addition, an unusual above average prevalence of crop diseases in these areas have reduced yields of other important staple crops, such as banana and cassava. Accordingly, crop production is provisionally estimated at slightly below average levels.
Despite slight declines in food prices, levels are still at near record highs
Retail prices of major staple foods have generally slightly decreased in February as newly harvested 2013 A season crops began to reach main markets. In the capital city Bujumbura, retail prices of beans and maize have declined by 2-3 percent from the record levels registered in January 2013 following a large fire that devastated the central market, affecting about 5 000 traders and destroying their (mostly uninsured) stocks. Currently, prices of beans and maize are still near record levels and are respectively 26 and 40 percent above the level of one year earlier. Retail prices of imported rice, an important commodity for urban households, were generally stable during the last nine months at about BIF 1 850 per kg, mainly due to the tax waiver granted to several imported commodities.
Overall good food security conditions following seasonal harvest
The overall food security situation is favourable as most household began to replenish their food stocks following the 2013 A season harvest. However, poor households in some south-eastern and north-western areas that experienced a below average 2013 A season harvest are expected to face a longer lean season as their food stocks have already began to be exhausted. In addition, about 34 000 returnees from Tanzania living in rural integrated villages and about 47 000 refugees, mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, hosted in camps are also at risk of increased food insecurity.