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Reference Date: 04-February-2015

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Cereal import requirements to remain high

  2. Rate of inflation stabilized in 2014

  3. Refugees from the Syrian Arab Republic put strain on resources

2014/15 cropping season progressing well

Sowing of the 2015 spring wheat and potatoes, for harvest from June onwards, is currently ongoing. Sowing of sorghum, to be harvested in June/July, concluded in November. Above-average precipitation in the first part of January 2014 replenished irrigation reserves and soil moisture for crop development. Vegetation response captured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index using satellite images suggests good establishment of winter crops.

Jordan’s domestic cereal production is negligible owing to climatic and geographic conditions. In 2014, Jordan received almost average cumulative moisture quantities in the past season but their poor distribution resulted in a below-average cereal harvest. Thus, aggregate output of spring wheat and barley, estimated at 50 000 tonnes, is 30 percent lower than in 2013, and about 4 percent above the five-year average. Nevertheless, rains were beneficial for natural pastures limiting the dependence on other sources of feed.

Cereal import requirements to remain high

Even in years with above average domestic production, over 97 percent of domestic cereal food and feed requirements are satisfied through imports. Cereal import requirements in 2014/15 (July/June) are forecast to increase slightly to 2.4 million tonnes, about 5 percent up on 2013/14.

Wheat imports are estimated at about 925 000 tonnes, about 20 percent higher than the last five-year average. The increase is due to increasing population and continuing presence of refugees which now, according to UNHCR, represent about 10 percent of the population, although the Government’s estimates are higher. The Government continues to maintain strategic stocks at ten months of consumption, 500 000 in storage silos and 200 000 on sea and at port.

In the same period, imports of barley (for feed) are expected to go up by about 10 percent, compared to the average, to 780 000 tonnes to match the increasing demand. Subsidized barley is distributed to herders according to actual number of tagged sheep and goats. An average level of about half a million tonnes of imported maize is also forecast for animal feed, mostly poultry and cattle. Rice imports are forecast to remain stable, at about 170 000 tonnes.

Elsewhere, Jordan’s fruit and vegetable sector is recovering. Fruit and vegetable sector exports in the first ten months of 2014 increased by 12 percent compared to last year. The sector was hit by the Syrian crises and ISIL control of the main transportation route to Eastern Europe and the Russian Federation.

Inflation declined and stabilized in 2014

The year-on-year inflation in 2014 ranged from 3.73 percent in May to 1.14 percent in December. This compares with the average total inflation in 2013 that reached 5.6 percent following the gradual removal of fuel subsidies that put upward pressure on prices. Cereal inflation remains low. Despite the budget deficit, wheat bread remains fully subsidized with bread prices fixed at USD 0.22 per kg where bakeries are provided with subsidized flour. Food inflation is driven by prices of seasonal products, such as vegetables, which are set freely.

Refugees from the Syrian Arab Republic put strain on resources

According to the UN Refugee Agency, as of early October 2014, about 622 000 registered Syrian refugees were within Jordan’s borders, mostly concentrated in Mafraq, Amman and Irbid Governorates. Only 4 percent of those refugees arrived in 2014. The WFP is assisting refugees through food vouchers in most of the country and through the provision of in-kind food distributions in the Zaatari refugee camp and some of the transit centres hosting refugees.









Relevant links:
From GIEWS:
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Maps
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 1999
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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