Reference Date: 03-May-2017
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Favourable conditions for secondary maize crop at start of season
Wheat prices increased steeply in recent months
Adequate weather conditions at start of 2017 secondary maize cropping season
The main food crops are cassava and plantain, but the country also produces a small amount of maize. Planting of the 2017 secondary season maize crop, for harvest in June-July, was completed in February. According to satellite images, rainfall has generally been adequate in recent months contributing to normal crop development and performance.
Harvesting of the main 2017 maize crop was completed in January while that of cassava, the principal staple in the country, was completed at the end of March. The main cropping season was characterized by mostly erratic precipitations.
Average import requirement levels forecast in 2017
Agriculture contributes only about 8 percent to the GDP, reflecting the predominance of the petroleum industry and the country imports the bulk of its cereal requirement through commercial channels, with cereal imports accounting for about 90 percent of the total consumption requirement.
In the 2017 marketing year (January/December), cereal import requirements, mainly wheat and rice, are forecast at around 170 000 tonnes, similar to the previous year.
Wheat prices declined in March 2017 after increasing steeply in recent months
Prices of imported rice have remained mostly stable over the last few years, but increased by 19 percent in March 2017 compared to the previous month. By contrast, prices of imported wheat, the most important staple for urban consumers, recorded a marked volatility in 2015 and 2016 in the capital, Libreville. After being on the rise since mid-2016 and peaked in February 2017, wheat prices declined in March 2017 by about 6 percent.