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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 14-December-2017


  1. Below average cereal production estimated in 2017

  2. Cereal imports anticipated to decline in 2017 marketing year

  3. Hurricane Irma impacts food security in eastern provinces of Cuba

Cereal production in 2017 virtually unchanged from a year earlier

Cereal production for 2017 is estimated at 910 000 tonnes, virtually unchanged from last year and well below the five-year average. The stagnant output mainly reflects maize crop losses due to the impact of Hurricane Irma, a category 5 event, which hit the country in early September. Maize production is estimated at 390 000 tonnes, 3 percent below last year’s level and well below the country’s five-year average. Rice output for 2017 is estimated to increase marginally to 520 000 tonnes, still below average, mainly reflecting problems with water availabilities as irrigation reservoir levels had not fully recovered from the drought events in 2015 and 2016.

Cereal imports anticipated to decline in 2017 marketing year

Cereal imports for the 2017/18 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 2.1 million tonnes, some 8 percent below last year’s record level but close to the average. The decline mainly reflects anticipated lower deliveries of rice.

Hurricane Irma impacts food security in eastern provinces of Cuba

Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in the first week of September, caused significant losses of crops, particularly fruit trees and horticultural production. Livestock was also severely impacted. The storm severely affected 50 500 hectares of crops and killed 145 000 head of cattle in 22 municipalities across the eastern provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila and Matanzas, Sanct. In total, 647 000 people are receiving food assistance from WFP and the Government to cover their dietary needs from mid-October 2017 until the end of February 2018. In addition, the Government is providing assistance to rebuild homes and infrastructure in the most affected areas.

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