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Country Briefs

  Cuba

Reference Date: 22-November-2016

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Cereal production in 2016 expected to recover from last year’s drought-reduced level

  2. Horticultural output severely impacted by Hurricane Matthew at beginning of October

  3. Cereal imports anticipated to remain high in 2016/17 marketing year

  4. Food security response to Hurricane Matthew

Cereal production in 2016 recovers from last year’s drought-reduced level

Cereal production in 2016 is estimated at 880 000 tonnes, 13 percent above last year’s drought-reduced level but still below the five‑year average. The increase in production mainly reflects the significant recovery in rice output as a result of increased plantings and better water availability due to the dissipation of the El Niño phenomena. The maize output had a smaller increase as it was impacted by Hurricane Matthew, which made landfall on 2 October in the eastern provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin and Las Tunas, and preliminary estimates point to a 10 000 tonnes reduction in output. However, the three provinces affected only represent 6 percent of the national cereal output and less than 1 percent of the rice output.

Horticultural output severely impacted by Hurricane Matthew

The three most affected provinces by Hurricane Matthew, Guantanamo, Holguin and Las Tunas received between 60 to 80 percent more rainfall than the long-term average for the first ten days of October, when the Hurricane made landfall. High winds also caused severe damages. Although losses have not yet been fully quantified, preliminary reports point to severe impacts to horticultural output as well as the destruction of plantain trees in all three provinces. The horticultural and plantain output for these three regions significantly contributes to the national supply of these crops. Latest official data for 2014 show that the three provinces produced some 2.5 million tonnes of horticultural products, including 7 percent of the national tomato crop and 17 percent of the national plantain output.

Cereal imports anticipated to remain high in 2016/17 marketing year

Cereal imports for the 2016/17 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 2.1 million tonnes, relatively unchanged from last year’s high level. The increase mainly reflects the expected higher rice imports as a result of the lower‑than‑average harvest and high demand. Maize imports are also anticipated to increase marginally, reflecting high local demand.

Food security response to Hurricane Matthew

WFP is directly assisting 180 000 people in the most affected provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin and Las Tunas, with an initial food distribution of 1 600 tonnes, consisting mainly of rice and beans. FAO is directly assisting 157 000 people in Guantanamo Province, the most affected, with inputs to quickly reactivate agricultural activities. FAO is also mobilizing internal resources of USD 920 000 to assist farmers in all provinces and issued a Flash Appeal on 26 October for an additional USD 1 million. FAO anticipates to assist a total of about 240 000 people with the funds already allocated and the additional funds being requested.