Reference Date: 02-September-2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Prospects for the 2013 cereal crops are uncertain
Agricultural production still lingering from the effects of the civil strife in recent years
Humanitarian assistance is still needed despite the improved civil security situation
Harvest prospects are uncertain due to unfavourable rainfall
Harvesting of the first season maize crop has started in southern parts of the country and is scheduled to be completed by the end of September. In the North, which only has one rainy season, planting of the 2013 coarse grains, to be harvested from October, has been completed. Satellite imagery indicates erratic rains with below average precipitation and poor vegetative growth in several parts of the country, notably in the southern part along the Gulf of Guinea. The unfavourable weather conditions may have affected maize yield.
An above-average harvest was gathered in 2012, owing to favourable climatic conditions in the main production regions. The 2012 cereal production was estimated at 1.5 million tonnes, 4 percent higher than the 2011 output and 8 percent above the average of the previous five years.
Civil strife hampered agricultural production and access to food
Agriculture has been seriously damaged in recent years due to the civil strife. Labour shortages due to population displacements, lack of agricultural support services in certain parts of the country - mainly in the northern half - fragmentation of the markets and other difficulties related to civil security have had serious negative impact on agricultural production and food markets in recent years. These problems have been exacerbated by the 2010-2011 post-election crisis, which has forced over 250 000 people to leave the country and seek refuge, mostly in eastern Liberia, while thousands others were internally displaced.
Most displaced persons have returned to their areas of origin, following the improvement of the security situation. However, UNHCR estimated that about 80 000 Ivoirians were still living in neighbouring countries, mostly in Liberia, as of June 2013.
The civil strife led to a steep increase in food prices through 2011. In mid-2012 the Government took a series of measures to curb rice price rise. These included fixing the prices of imported rice, suspending the value added tax on rice and limiting the number of check-points. As a result prices of imported rice have been more stable.