GIEWS > Data & Tools > Earth Observation
GIEWS - Global Information and Early Warning System

Country Briefs

  Congo

Reference Date: 24-April-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Overall favourable weather conditions benefited crops in 2016

  2. Inflation rates forecast to rise moderately in 2017

  3. Refugees from Central African Republic estimated at 30 000 in end of February

Cereal harvests in 2016 estimated at near-average level

Harvesting of the 2016/17 main maize crop was completed in January 2017, while planting of the second maize crop was carried out in February and March 2017. Harvesting of cassava, the principal staple in the country, was also completed in March. Satellite estimates indicate that the overall rainfall during the cropping season was above average in most departments.

No official production estimates are available, but FAO preliminary estimates for the 2016 harvest point to a level of production similar to both the previous year and the average of the previous five years. The country does not produce a significant amount of cereals with imports covering approximately 94 percent of total cereal utilization requirements, mainly through commercial channels. In the 2017 marketing year (January/December), the volume of commercially-imported cereals, mainly wheat and rice, is forecast at about 310 000 tonnes, about 3 percent below the previous year.

Average import requirement levels forecast in 2017

Domestic cereal production only covers a small proportion of the consumption requirements with imports, mainly through commercial channels, accounting for approximately 94 percent of the country’s total utilization.

In the 2017 marketing year (January/December), the cereal import requirement, mainly wheat and rice, is forecast at around 312 000 tonnes, similar to the previous year.

Inflation rates forecast to rise moderately in 2017

According to the International Monetary Fund, the average inflation rate, which increased from a low of 1 percent in 2014 to 2 percent in 2015 due to a rise in public sector wages, increased moderately to 4 percent in 2016. As of the first quarter of 2017, the average inflation rate is forecast to further increase to about 3.7 percent.

In the last several years, the rates of inflation were very volatile, increasing from 2.6 percent in 2007 to about 5 percent in 2008‑2010, then declining to 1.8 percent in 2011 and increasing again to about 5 percent in 2012 and 2013.

About 55 000 refugees are estimated to be living in the country mostly from Central African Republic

According to UNHCR, Congo continues to host about 55 000 refugees, about 30 000 of the refugees residing in the country are from the Central African Republic, that is 17 percent less than the peak recorded in September 2015 after the resurgence of inter‑communal violence in the capital, Bangui, and in other areas of the country.

Most refugees are located in Likouala Province, in particular in two sites close to the Central African Republic border along the Ubangi River (Bétou and Impfondo). Their food security is essentially supported by continued humanitarian assistance. Moreover, about 30 000 people have been displaced in the country.

According to the Congo Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH), nearly 30 000 people would have been displaced in the Pool Department (South of the country) following the armed conflict escalation in this Department. This unstable situation has undermined the agriculture in that region.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.