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Country Briefs

  Congo

Reference Date: 14-October-2016

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Generally favourable weather conditions at start of 2016 main maize cropping season

  2. Inflation rates forecast to rise moderately in 2016

  3. Refugees from Central African Republic estimated at 29 300 in early October

Generally favourable weather conditions at start of 2016 main maize cropping season

Planting of the main season maize crop, for harvest in December-January, is well underway. The rainy season, which normally starts in September, had an early onset in central areas, where rains started in the second dekad of August (see rainfall anomaly map) thus favouring land preparation activities. Subsequently, rainfall was above average in September over most cropping areas, except in southwestern parts (Lekomou, Niari, Koilou, Bouenza provinces), where dry weather conditions prevailed.

Earlier in the year, the secondary season maize crop, harvested in June-July, was affected by early season dryness in January and February, which delayed planting operations. Subsequently, above average precipitation in March and April offset early seasonal moisture deficits and despite below average rains received in May, according to remote sensing data, vegetation conditions in the second dekad of May, before the harvest, were satisfactory (see ASI Map).

Average import requirement levels forecast in 2016

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 2016 marketing year (January/December), the cereal import requirement, mainly wheat and rice, is forecast at around 300 000 tonnes, similar to the previous year.

Inflation rates forecast to rise moderately in 2016

According to the IMF, 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, is forecast to rise moderately to 2.3 percent in 2016.

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.

Refugees from Central African Republic estimated at 29 300 in early October

In early October 2016, the number of refugees that entered the country from the Central African Republic was estimated at 29 300, that is 24 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 guaranteed by continued humanitarian assistance.