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Country Briefs

  Guinea-Bissau

Reference Date: 08-November-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Abundant but poorly-distributed rainfall adversely impact cereal crop production

  2. Cereal imports forecast to increase to offset reduction in total cereal production

  3. Increased cashew revenue offsets impact higher international rice prices

Poorly-distributed rainfall to adversely impact rice production

Harvesting of millet, sorghum and maize was completed in October, while that of rice, the major crop produced in the country, is underway and will be completed by the end of January 2018. Late arrival of rains in May and June delayed plantings, while abundant but poorly-distributed rainfall in July and August affected crop development in the main producing zones of the country’s marshy areas.

Flooding in the shallows of freshwater rice and in mangroves impacted a number of agriculturally important regions, including Bafata, Gabu and Oio. The presence of local grasshoppers, nymphula moths and Fall Armyworms has also been reported throughout the country, but millet, sorghum and other cereal grain production is expected to be similar to, and above, last year’s levels. The aggregate 2017 production is estimated at 210 000 tonnes, about 7 percent lower than last year’s bumper level and 5 percent below the five-year average.

Import requirements to increase to offset slight decrease in production

Imports account for over 45 percent of the national cereal requirements in the country, with rice accounting for close to 82 percent of these import requirements, followed by wheat, which accounts for about 15 percent. In response to growing domestic demand and a slight decline in total production compared to the previous year, import requirements for 2017 are expected to increase by 8 percent compared to 2016, reaching 134 000 tonnes.

Increased cashew revenue offset impact of higher international rice prices

The country is the second largest exporter of raw cashew nuts, which accounts for more than 90 percent of its export revenue. For most poor rural households, cashew nuts are an important source of income and are often bartered for imported rice supplied by cashew traders. Cashew farmers often sell excess rice bartered from cashew nuts on the local markets, earning the income necessary to purchase other goods. In 2017, the Government set the farmgate price of cashew nuts at XOF 1 000 (USD 1.77) per kg, a substantial increase compared to XOF 350 in the previous year. As of early November, 165 000 tonnes of cashew nuts, out of the 175 000 forecasted, were already exported.

Although prices of rice imported from the country’s main trading partners in Asia were higher than their year-earlier levels, the favourable cashew campaign has supported the income of producers and rural populations and improved their access to staple foodstuffs. Nevertheless, the number of households requiring humanitarian assistance increased compared to last year. According to the “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis conducted in spring 2017, about 32 500 people were estimated to be in Phase 3 “Crisis” and above between June and August 2017, compared to the 25 900 people caseload of the previous year.

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