Reference Date: 16-August-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
Overall prospects favourable for 2016 cereal production
Planting of maize, millet and sorghum was completed in June, while planting operations of rice, the most important crop produced in the country, are about to conclude. Data obtained from satellite images shows that the growing crops benefited from favourable climatic conditions in most of the regions during the sowing season and the vegetation period from April to the third dekad of July. Harvesting of rice and coarse grains will begin in October.
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. Reflecting strong demand for agricultural products during the fasting month of Ramadan in June, prices of local and imported rice have risen in recent months. However, they will likely fall to normal levels due to the arrival of the new harvest.
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 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 the Ebola‑affected areas for the 2016/17 agricultural season.