Reference Date: 03-March-2015
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Preliminary estimates indicate above-average cereal production in 2014, despite erratic precipitation in parts of the country
Agricultural production still lingering from effects of civil strife in recent years
Food markets affected by border closures following Ebola outbreak in neighbouring countries
Despite erratic rains in parts, cereal production increased further in 2014
There is little agricultural activity in this period, except for limited cultivation of some off-season crops. Planting of main season crops are expected to begin with the start of the rainy season from March.
Harvesting of the 2014 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 in November. In spite of erratic precipitation in parts of the country, preliminary estimates indicate that cereal production in 2014 was similar to the previous year’s above‑average level. Production of maize, the main staple cereal, was estimated at about 680 000 tonnes, similar to the previous year’s record crop and 6 percent above the five-year average.
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 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 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 improvement of the security situation. However, UNHCR estimated that over 70 000 Ivoirians were still living in neighbouring countries, mostly in Liberia.
Ebola preventative measures affected food security in border towns
The Government has taken a number of measures to reduce the risk of Ebola spreading to the country. These include closing shared borders with Guinea and Liberia, closing certain markets on the borders and banning the hunting and consumption of bush meat. These preventative measures have disrupted commodity movements with serious impact on livelihoods, income and access to food in border towns.
In particular, the ban on bush meat is depriving many households of an important source of nutrition and income.