Reference Date: 28-June-2016
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Harvest prospects generally favourable
Cereal import requirements in 2016 estimated at around same level as in 2015
Number of food insecure people estimated at about 90 700
Early prospects favourable for 2016 cereal production
Land preparation and planting of the 2016 rice and coarse grains crops are underway countrywide, following the start of the raining season in May. Data obtained from satellite images indicates generally adequate climatic conditions in most regions with average to above‑average rainfall estimated from April to the second dekad of June. However, a delay in the start of the cropping season was reported in some areas.
Seven newly‑confirmed cases of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) were reported between mid‑March and early April. According to the World Health Organization, the last case tested negative for Ebola virus for the second time on 19 April and Guinea declared an end to Ebola virus transmission on 1 June. The resurgence of Ebola is unlikely to have any major impact on the 2016 agricultural season.
Cereal production recovered in 2015 following the previous year’s Ebola‑affected crop. The aggregate cereal production in 2015 was estimated at about 3.5 million tonnes, 7 percent above the previous year’s output and 11 percent above average. Of this total, paddy rice production was estimated at 2.047 million tonnes, a 4 percent increase from the year before. Rice accounts for the bulk of the cereal production.
In 2014, the EVD outbreak resulted in a serious shock to the agriculture and food sectors. The epidemic started to spread when crops were being planted and grew during the crop maintenance period and expanded rapidly during the critical harvesting period for the staple crops: rice, maize and cassava. Various farming activities, including crop maintenance (weeding, fencing and application of chemicals) and harvesting were disrupted mostly through labour shortages. Rice production declined by 5 percent compared to the 2013 harvest. The relatively low level of impact at the national level masked the sub‑national production and food security impacts. For example, the impact on rice production was estimated to be as high as ‑8.5 percent in N’zérékore. In particular, cereal production in N’zérékore was substantially affected by the EVD outbreak that started to spread when crops were already being planted and expanded during the whole crop‑growing season until the critical harvesting period.
Cereal import requirements in 2016 estimated at around same level as in previous year
Guinea, in a normal year, relies on imports for about 20 percent of its cereal consumption requirements (mostly rice and wheat). Cereal import requirements in 2016 are estimated at about 688 000 tonnes, similar to the previous year’s level. Rice import requirements account for about 430 000 tonnes of the total.
In 2014, the border closures with neighbouring Senegal, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea‑Bissau disrupted cross‑border trade of agricultural commodities. These neighbouring countries sincere‑opened their borders with Guinea, which led to a significant increase in trade flows. However, following the Resurgence of EVD, the Liberian border has since been closed which is likely to disrupt cross‑border trade. Prices of local and imported rice have been mostly stable in recent months and will likely remain stable due to the availability of agricultural products and well‑supplied markets.
Food security and economy expected to improve in 2016
Beyond its impact on the agriculture and food sectors, the EVD has seriously affected all other sectors of the economy. According to the EIU, Guinea’s real GDP contracted by 0.3 percent in 2014 and recovered only slightly, growing by an estimated 0.5 percent in 2015. With the EVD epidemic largely under control, the real GDP in 2016 is predicted to grow by 5.9 percent. Despite the recent new cases, agricultural manual labour has returned to near‑normal levels; moreover, the recovery of agricultural, livestock and fishing activities as well as the re‑opening of most of the neighbouring borders with Guinea is expected to improve the food situation.
Although the Ebola outbreak has ended, according to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 148 400 people, located mostly in N’zérékore and Kindia, were projected to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above and in need of urgent assistance. The Government and its partners are providing assistance in agricultural inputs and equipment particularly in Ebola‑affected areas for the 2016‑2017 agricultural season.