Reference Date: 11-February-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Below average cereal production in 2013
Food security conditions expected to remain stable in marketing year 2013/14 (November/October), reflecting favourable trends in international food export markets
Another below average cereal harvest was gathered in 2013
Harvesting of the 2013 cereal and pulses crops was completed in December. Due to erratic precipitation during the cropping season and an early cessation of rainfall in September, a poor harvest was gathered for the third consecutive year. The 2013 maize production is estimated at about 5 700 tonnes mostly produced in Santiago Island (50 percent) and Fogo Island (30 percent). This level of production is 5 percent below the previous year’s poor harvest.
Food security conditions expected to remain stable
In spite of the reduced crop, food availability is expected to remain adequate during the 2013/14 marketing year (November/October), reflecting declining cereal prices on the international market. Cabo Verde is highly dependent on cereal imports, especially for rice and wheat, which are not grown in the country. Approximately 80 percent of the national cereal requirements are imported.
The country’s dependence on commercial imports increased in recent years. Until recently, food aid played a major role in Cabo Verde’s food policy, accounting for over 50 percent of total cereal consumption in some years. Monetisation of food aid in the form of “cash-for-work” activities has been the main instrument used by the Government to deal with food emergencies. However, the amount of food aid received has declined sharply in recent years due to various factors, including the upgrading of Cabo Verde to medium-developed country status from least-developed country, and the shift of several donors’ aid policy to direct budget support. For example, the country received only about 12 000 tonnes of food aid per year over 2008-2012 compared to an average of 37 000 tonnes between 2002 and 2005.
International prices of rice, the main imported cereal, have remained mostly stable in recent months, while wheat prices have declined significantly. As a result, prices of imported short-grain rice dropped by over 27 percent from January to December 2013 in Santiago. Prices of imported long-grain rice declined by 11 percent over the same period. Food security conditions are expected to remain stable across the country.