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  Bolivia

Reference Date: 10-August-2020

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Aggregate cereal production in 2020 preliminarily forecast at above‑average level

  2. Import requirements of cereals in 2020/21 forecast slightly above‑average levels

  3. Retail prices of cereals higher year on year due to upsurge in domestic demand

Aggregate cereal production in 2020 preliminarily forecast at above‑average level

The harvest of the 2020 paddy crop finalized in May and production is estimated at 560 000 tonnes, nearly 10 percent above the previous five‑year average, mainly reflecting above‑average yields. Favourable weather conditions from November 2019 to February 2020 during the cropping season boosted yields of the mostly rainfed paddy crops in the main producing departments of Santa Cruz and Beni.

Harvesting of the 2020 main season maize crop is virtually complete and the planted area is estimated to have contracted, reflecting farmers’ shift to the more remunerative soybean crop. Reduced rainfall amounts during the grain filling stage in the March‑April period constrained crop yields in the main producing department of Santa Cruz.

Planting operations of the 2020 winter crops (wheat, minor maize and main sorghum) have been recently completed. Abundant and well‑distributed rains in May and June were conducive for planting and early development of the crops. Weather forecasts for the August‑October period indicate a higher likelihood of average rainfall, pointing to favourable production prospects.

The aggregate cereal production in 2020 is preliminarily forecast at 3 million tonnes, about 8 percent above the previous five‑year average.

On June 2020, the Ministry of Land and Rural Development launched an agricultural sector rehabilitation plan worth USD 874 million, with the financial and technical support of international organizations, including FAO. The plan seeks to boost the production of crops for domestic consumption as well as for exports and compensate the negative effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic on the food supply chain.

Import requirements of cereals in 2020/21 forecast slightly above‑average levels

Cereal import requirements are forecast at slightly above‑average levels of 610 000 tonnes in the 2020/21 marketing year (July/June). The anticipated above‑average imports of wheat, which account for more than 90 percent of the total annual imports, reflect the high domestic demand for food use.

Retail prices of cereals higher year on year due to upsurge in domestic demand

Prior to the enforcement of the COVID‑19 containment measures in March 2020, retail prices of rice and imported wheat flour were generally stable. However, in April and May, retail prices of both food commodities increased significantly, driven by an upsurge in domestic demand. Reflecting improved supplies from the summer crop harvests and subdued demand, retail prices of both food products levelled off in June, but were higher than their year‑earlier levels.

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