Reference Date: 23-April-2015
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Rice production in 2015 forecast to increase from last year’s average level
Cereal exports in 2015 forecast to decrease from the previous year’s high level
Food insecurity is of concern in parts of the country
2015 rice production forecast to increase from last year’s average level
Planting of the 2015 main (wet) season paddy crop will start in mid-May and will continue until July. FAO tentatively forecasts the aggregate 2015 rice output (including the forthcoming 2015 main and the 2015/16 secondary seasons), at 3.4 million tonnes, 3 percent up from the previous year’s average output. Similarly, FAO’s early forecast puts the total 2015 maize output at about 1.2 million tonnes, 5 percent above the near-average level of 2014.
2014 rice production is forecast at a slightly reduced level
Harvesting of the 2014 secondary (dry) season paddy crop is nearing completion. Below-average rains between January and mid-April 2015 over the main rice producing areas, including the provinces of Savannakhet, Champasak, Khammouane and Vietaine Prefecture, resulted in localized losses of the secondary season rice crop. Including the slightly reduced 2014 main season, harvested by December, FAO’s forecast for the 2014 aggregate rice production stands at 3.3 million tonnes, 3 percent below the 2013 bumper level.
The 2014 maize output is estimated by FAO at an average level of 1.1 million tonnes, some 4 percent below last year’s high level.
Cereal exports in 2015 are forecast to decrease from last year’s high level
Cereal exports for the 2014/15 marketing year (January/December) are forecast at 315 000 tonnes, 7 percent below last year’s high level, mainly reflecting slightly lower cereal harvests in 2014. Most of this volume is maize, exports of which are set to decrease by 9 percent compared to the record level of the previous year to 265 000 tonnes. The country is expected to remain more-or-less self-sufficient in rice.
Food insecurity remains a concern in some parts of the country
Despite steady economic growth, food insecure areas exist at the sub-national level. Ethnic groups and children living in remote and rural areas are particularly vulnerable. Approximately 75 percent of the economically active population derive their income from the agricultural sector. According to IFPRI’s Global Hunger Index Report (2014), the under-five mortality rate is 7.2 percent and some 26.5 percent of children under five years are underweight.