Reference Date: 19-April-2017
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Rice production continues to expand
Continued assistance needed for vulnerable people
Above-average cereal production harvested in 2016
Land preparation for 2017 cereal crops is underway in the South of the country and planting of the 2017 main maize crop is expected to start soon with the onset of the rains.
Harvesting of the 2016 second season maize crop was completed in January in the South. In the North, which has only one rainy season, harvesting of coarse grains was completed last November. An above-average crop production has been harvested, reflecting continued Government support in terms of distribution of seeds and tools as well as favourable weather conditions. The aggregate cereal production is estimated at about 3.2 million tonnes, 5 percent below the previous year’s record crop, but about 20 percent above the five-year average. In particular, rice production exhibited a strong growth over the last few years.
Civil strife affected agricultural production and access to food in recent years
Agriculture has been seriously damaged in recent years due to civil strife. Labour shortages caused by population displacements, lack of agricultural support services in parts of the country (mainly in the northern half), fragmentation of markets and other difficulties related to civil security have had a serious negative impact on agricultural production and food markets in recent years. These problems were exacerbated by the 2010-2011 post-election crisis, which forced over 300 000 people to leave the country and seek refuge mostly in eastern Liberia, while thousands of others were internally displaced. Most displaced persons have returned to their areas of origin, following the recent improvement of the security situation. However, the lingering effects of the civil strife have had a very adverse, longer-term impact on household assets and savings, notably in the northern part of the country. Several segments of the population still need food and non-food assistance to restore their livelihoods and enable them to have better access to food. According to the last analysis of the “Cadre Harmonisé” (Harmonized Framework) conducted in the country, over 275 000 people were estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” during last year’s lean season.