Reference Date: 16-November-2016
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Above-average 2016 cereal harvest expected
Cereal import requirements in 2016 estimated at around same level as in 2015
Number of food insecure people estimated at about 84 085
Overall prospects favourable for 2016 cereal production
Harvesting of coarse grains is almost completed, while harvesting operations for rice, the most important crop produced in the country, will continue until January 2017.
Data obtained from satellite images shows that crops benefited from favourable climatic conditions during most of the growing period. An above-average crop is expected for the second consecutive year after the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak severely affected agricultural production in several areas in 2014.
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. Borders have re‑opened, which led to a significant increase in trade flows.
Food security and economy expected to improve in 2016
Beyond its impact on the agriculture and food sectors, the EVD outbreak has seriously affected all other sectors of the economy. According to the Economic Intelligence Unit (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, has improved the food situation.
Although the Ebola outbreak has ended, according to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 84 085 people, located mostly in N’zérékore and Kindia, were projected to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above, between June and August. The Government and its partners have provided assistance with agricultural inputs and equipment particularly in the Ebola‑affected areas for the 2016/17 agricultural season.