Reference Date: 27-October-2016
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Cereal production in 2016 forecast above average
Food prices on the decline, driven by increased supplies from new 2016 harvest in southern part of the country
Overall prospects favourable for 2016 cereal production
In the South, harvesting of the first season maize crop and planting of the second season crop have recently been completed. In the North, which only has one rainy season, harvesting of cereals is underway. Precipitation has been above last year’s levels in the southern part of the country with cumulative rainfall exceeding 200 percent of the average in the coastal regions. Similarly, climatic conditions were generally favourable across the northern savannah agro-ecological zone. In addition, the continuation of Government assistance in the form of subsidized fertilizers and increased technical support for large-scale farming supported crop development throughout the season. Preliminary estimates point to an above average cereal production. Cereal production in 2016 is forecast at nearly 2.9 million tonnes, up 5 percent from 2015. Maize output is forecast to increase by 5.6 percent.
The 2015 cereal production was estimated at some 2.75 million tonnes, a slight decrease compared to the previous year’s and the average outputs. Maize production declined by 4 percent compared to the 2014 level.
Food prices declined in recent months
Coarse grains prices have declined in recent months reflecting improved availabilities from the just-completed 2016 main season harvests in the southern parts of the country. Maize prices, for instance, dropped by 8 percent from June to August, while prices of local rice declined by 5 percent.
Cereal prices followed a steady upward trend in 2015, driven mostly by a steep depreciation of the national currency that caused the consumer price inflation rate to more than triple over the last three years. Cereal production has been mostly stagnant in recent years, which has exacerbated the strong upward trend.