Reference Date: 23-March-2017
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
An above-average cereal harvest was gathered in 2016
Cereal import requirements in 2017 forecast to decline compared to 2016 levels
Number of food insecure people estimated at about 51 000
Favourable rains in 2016 resulted in above-average cereal harvest
Harvesting of maize, millet and sorghum was completed in November, while harvesting operations for rice, the most important crop produced in the country, was concluded in January 2017. Most cropping areas benefited from favourable rains during most of the growing period. An above-average crop was harvested for the second consecutive year after the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak severely affected agricultural production in several areas in 2014. According to preliminary estimates, the aggregate cereal production in 2016 was estimated at about 3.6 million tonnes, 3 percent above the previous year’s output and 14 percent above average. Of this total, paddy rice production was estimated at 2.174 million tonnes, a 6 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 the crops were already being planted and expanded during the whole crop‑growing season until the critical harvesting period.
Cereal import requirements in 2017 estimated lower than the previous year’s levels
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 2017 are estimated at about 788 000 tonnes, 17 percent below the previous year’s level reflecting the increase in domestic supplies. Rice import requirements account for about 500 000 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 situation expected to remain stable in 2017
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 0.4 percent in 2014 and recovered only slightly, growing by an estimated 0.1 percent in 2015. With the EVD epidemic largely under control, the real GDP growth in 2016 is estimated at 4.8 percent. 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 51 000 people, located mostly in N’zérékore and Kindia, were estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above, between October and December 2016. The number of food insecure people is forecast to increase to over 125 000 between June and August 2017. 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.