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Country Briefs

  Central African Republic

Reference Date: 02-December-2020


  1. Crop production in 2020 forecast slightly below‑average level

  2. Most food prices in October well above year‑earlier levels

  3. About 1.9 million people estimated severely food insecure in post‑harvest period

Crop production in 2020 forecast slightly below‑average level

In the uni‑modal rainfall northern areas, harvesting of the 2020 millet and sorghum crops is about to be completed and the output is expected at below‑average levels. The restrictive measures related to the COVID‑19 pandemic hampered farmers’ access to crop growing areas and agricultural inputs across the country. In addition, excessive cumulative precipitation amounts between May and July triggered floods in August in northern prefectures, damaging standing crops. In central and southern areas, the 2020 maize crops benefited from overall adequate and well distributed rainfall during the season and harvesting finalized in September. An outbreak of cassava mosaic disease, particularly in the southern prefecture of Kemo, reduced the output of cassava tubers that are grown throughout the year.

The 2020 aggregate crop production is forecast slightly below the average of the last five years, due to the impacts of floods and persisting civil insecurity, coupled with the effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Most food prices in October well above year‑earlier levels

Staple food prices, which reached atypically high levels in April 2020 following the COVID‑19 pandemic and increased further between May and August, remained overall stable or decreased slightly in September and October. In October, prices of important locally produced staples, such as cassava and maize, were similar to the levels of 12 months before. By contrast, sorghum prices were well above their levels in 2019, mainly due to low market supplies following the reduced output obtained in 2020. Prices of imported products also remained higher than their levels of a year before. For instance, the October prices of rice and beans were reported to be, on average, about 40 and 20 percent higher year on year, respectively.

About 1.9 million people estimated severely food insecure in post‑harvest period

According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, conducted in September 2020, the number of severely food insecure people (IPC Phase 3: “Crisis” and IPC Phase 4: “Emergency”) is estimated at about 1.9 million (about 40 percent of the total population) during the post‑harvest September 2020‑April 2021 period. It represents a 20 percent increase compared to the same period a year before. The food security situation has worsened mainly due to the high level of food prices, which limits access to food for the most vulnerable households and the upsurge of violence between armed groups, which triggered new population displacements since January 2020, especially in the prefectures of Ouham-Pendé, Nana-Mambéré and Mambéré-Kadeï.

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