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Reference Date: 15-May-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Favourable weather conditions benefited crop development

  2. Prices of wheat increasing in recent months

Favourable weather conditions benefited crops

Planting of cassava, the main crop grown in the country is underway. The main season maize harvest was completed in January, while the second crop is being gathered. Satellite-based vegetation index analysis indicates that adequate and well-distributed rainfall was recorded in most of the producing regions during both cropping seasons.

Agriculture contributes only about 8 percent to GDP, reflecting the predominance of the petroleum industry. The main food crops grown in the country are cassava and plantain, together with small amounts of maize (on average, approximately 33 000 tonnes per annum). Gabon imports the bulk of its cereal requirement through commercial channels. Cereal imports in 2014, mainly wheat and rice, are forecast to reach about 177 000 tonnes, accounting for about 80 percent of the total consumption requirement.

Prices of wheat increasing in recent months

Prices of imported wheat, the most important staple, declined between April and November 2013 (-39 percent), following the Government’s decision in May 2013 to expand the number of food commodities that are subject to price control from 66 to 166, including wheat flour. Subsequently, prices began to increase (+52 percent) between November 2012 and March 2013, thus reverting to their high levels of early 2013, despite the Government’s efforts to curb food price inflation.

Prices of rice increased by 30 percent between February and March 2014, when they were 12 percent higher than one year earlier.

According to the IMF, the average inflation rate, which declined from 2.7 percent in 2012 to 0.5 percent in 2013, is forecast to increase again to 5.6 percent in 2014, due to increasing food prices and the high share of government spending on the public sector payroll.

In the last several years, rates of inflation were highly volatile, varying from the low levels of -1.4 percent and -1 percent in 2006 and 2007 to about 5 percent in 2008, then declining to 1.9 percent in 2009, 1.5 percent in 2010 and 1.3 percent in 2011.





Relevant links:
From GIEWS:
 Cereal Supply/Demand Balance Sheet
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Maps
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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