Reference Date: 14-May-2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Above average cereal production gathered in 2012
Reduced revenues from cashew nuts (main cash crop) due to lower prices and reduced exports volume
Access to food affected by high prices and lower revenues
Seasonably dry conditions prevail. The 2013 cropping season is expected to start in June.
Favourable weather conditions resulted in a satisfactory 2012 harvest
Harvesting of rice, the major cereal crop produced in Guinea-Bissau, was completed in January 2013. Adequate rainfall during the growing period has resulted in a satisfactory cereal harvest. Aggregate cereal production is estimated at about 249 000 tonnes, which is about 15 percent above the 2011 harvest and 13 percent above the previous five-year average.
Access to food is constrained by high food prices and lower income for farmers
In spite of last year’s good cereal production, access to food is being negatively affected by high prices and inflation rates as well as reduced income from cashew nuts, the main source of income for farmers. Guinea-Bissau is highly dependent on rice imports. Approximately 40 percent of the national cereal requirements are satisfied through imports. Following last year coup that disrupted food imports, rice prices increased by more than 50 percent in several regions across the country.
The impact of high food prices on vulnerable rural populations was exacerbated by plummeting prices and reduced exports volume of cashew nuts. The drop in exports volume was driven by political instability and low demand. Cashew nut incomes normally permit farmers to supplement their food crop production by purchasing imported rice. The drop in income combined with increased rice prices has considerably eroded farmers’ purchasing power and access to food.