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Country Briefs

  India

Reference Date: 25-August-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Prospects for 2017 main season crops are favourable, despite floods in northern areas

  2. Rice prices stable, while those of wheat decrease

  3. Overall food security satisfactory, but impact of floods heighten concerns for affected households

Prospects for 2017 main season crops favourable, despite floods

Planting of the 2017 main kharif season crops, mostly rice, maize, millet and sorghum, started in June, with the onset of the monsoon rains, and will continue until September. The monsoon rains this year continue to be unevenly distributed so far, resulting in floods in many parts of Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and eastern Uttar Pradesh, while some pockets of south, central and northern regions experienced below-average rains. According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cumulative rainfall received until 23 August across the country has been 94 percent of the Long Period Average (LPA), falling below-normal levels. Official estimates, as of 11 August, indicate that 49.78 million hectares had been put under the 2017 main season cereals, up 3 percent compared to the same period in 2016.

Rice prices stable, while those of wheat decrease

Retail prices of rice were mostly stable, due to adequate domestic availabilities. Prices of wheat and wheat flour decreased in most markets reflecting the record 2017 output and high level of imports in recent months.

Overall food security satisfactory, but impact of floods heighten concerns for affected population

The overall food security situation in the country is satisfactory given the provision of highly subsidized rice, as well as wheat and coarse grains distributed by the Government.

The country is prone to floods during the monsoon season, which normally affect large numbers of people. According to OCHA, as of 24 August, floods and landslides in 2017 affected at least 32.1 million people, mostly concentrated in the northeastern and northwestern states, and caused a larger number of casualties. Severe damage to housing and infrastructure, including roads and bridges, was also reported. In addition, losses of stored food and livestock are likely to be high in the most affected areas, and coupled with disruptions to internal trade, availability and access of food is expected to be constrained.

The Government is providing relief assistance to the flood‑affected population.

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