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Reference Date: 28-January-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Record cereal harvest estimated for 2013

  2. Food inflation remains high

  3. Food insecurity persists in certain districts

Record cereal harvest is estimated for 2013

Harvesting of the 2013 main season crops, mainly rice and maize, was completed by December. The 2013 paddy production is expected to reach a record level at 88 000 tonnes, some 4 percent above last year’s bumper level. The increase is mainly attributed to a slight expansion in plantings and higher yields, following favourable weather conditions.

Similarly, the 2013 maize crop is estimated at 81 400 tonnes, slightly above previous year’s bumper output. The slight increase is mainly the result of favourable weather conditions during the growing season.

The aggregate 2013 cereal production is thus estimated at 192 900 tonnes, including rice in paddy terms, up 3 percent on last year’s bumper output. Rice is the main staple food in the country, with per capita consumption estimated at about 175 kg/year.

Following higher production levels in 2013, the cereal import requirement for the 2013/14 marketing year (July/June) is forecast at 66 100 tonnes, about 9 percent below the previous year. Imports consist mainly of rice and wheat, forecast in the current marketing year at 58 000 and 6 000 tonnes, respectively.

Food inflation remains high

According to the Bhutan National Statistics Bureau (NSB) the annual consumer price index was recorded at 9.1 percent in the third quarter of 2013. The food price inflation has been measured at 9.4 percent as opposed to the non-food price inflation of 8.9 percent.

Food insecurity persists in certain districts

Food insecurity persists in certain districts, particularly in the eastern and southern regions of Bhutan. According to the latest UNICEF report, the under-five mortality rate decreased from 131 per 1 000 in 1990 to 45 in 2012.

Recent UNHCR information indicates that, as of mid-2013, some 34 000 Bhutanese citizens of Nepali origin are still living in two refugee camps in eastern Nepal. More than 83 000 refugees have been resettled in third countries, following the major resettlement programme launched in November 2007.





Relevant links:
From GIEWS:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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