Reference Date: 07-July-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Above-average cereal production gathered in 2013
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
The cropping season has started on time
According to satellite imagery, the rainy season started in early June, allowing land preparation and plantings of coarse grains and rainfed rice to start. Coarse grain crops are emerging/tillering. Transplanting of swamp rice from seedbeds will take place in July/August after desalination of swamp rice fields.
Last year, regular and well-distributed rains benefited crop development in the major agricultural producing areas of the country. The official estimate puts the 2013 aggregate cereal production at some 265 000 tonnes, which is about 9 percent above the 2012 harvest and 15 percent above the previous five-year average.
Access to food is constrained by high food prices and lower income for farmers
In spite of the increased 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 the 2012 coup that disrupted food imports, rice prices increased steeply the following year in several regions across the country and have remained high.
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.