Reference Date: 27-March-2019
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Favourable weather conditions benefitted crop development
Inflation rates at generally low levels (less than 2 percent) in recent years
Planting season of 2019 maize crop about to start
Land preparation for the 2019 main maize crop is underway and planting activities are expected to start in April to be harvested from October.
Agriculture contributes to only about 2 percent of the GDP, reflecting the predominance of the petroleum industry. The main food crops grown in the country are cassava, sweet potatoes and plantain, together with small amounts of maize.
The country imports the bulk of its cereal requirements through commercial channels. With a population of about 1.3 million people, the total cereal import requirements for 2019 are forecast at about 44 000 tonnes, including 22 000 tonnes of rice and 22 000 tonnes of wheat.
Inflation at generally low levels in recent years
In recent years, the rates of inflation have been at generally low levels (less than 2 percent) due to the implementation of a tighter monetary policy (raising interest rates to slow down economic growth) and the relatively strong local currency, which exerted downward pressure on prices of imported goods. According to the International Monetary Fund, the average inflation rates were about 0.7 percent in 2017, 0.8 percent in 2018 and are forecast to increase slightly to 1.3 percent in 2019 due to constraints on domestic production capacity.
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