Reference Date: 02-December-2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
A reduced rice crop expected in 2013
Access to food remains adequate reflecting lower prices of imported rice
Assistance required for Ivorian refugees in eastern Liberia
Preliminary estimates indicate a decline in rice production in 2013
Harvesting of the 2013 paddy crop, virtually the only cereal grown in the country, is underway, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of December. Following erratic rains throughout the growing season, 2013 rice production (paddy) is estimated to decline by 20 percent compared to last year’s above-average output. By contrast, production of cassava, the second most important staple food after rice, is forecast to increase slightly over 2012 output.
An above-average rice harvest was gathered in 2012, owing to favourable climatic conditions in the main rice growing regions. The 2012 rice production was estimated at about 298 000 tonnes, similar to the 2011 good output and about 7 percent above the average of the previous five years.
Lower rice prices favour access to food
Liberia is highly dependent on rice
purchased on the international market. A
n estimated three-fourths of the national cereal consumption requirement is covered by imports. The Government has preserved the suspension of rice import tariff, which combined with declining rice prices on the international market, has led to lower domestic prices. Imported rice prices have remained below last year’s levels through August 2013 across the country.
Although prices of imported rice are expected to remain relatively stable, food insecurity is likely to increase in areas affected this year by irregular rains and poor harvests.
Food assistance continues to be needed for Ivoirian refugees in the East
Thousands of Ivoirians left their country and sought refuge in eastern Liberia during the 2010-2011 post-election crises in Côte d’Ivoire. Although most of the displaced persons have returned to their areas of origin, following the improvement of the security situation in Côte d’Ivoire, some 58 000 Ivorian refugees were still living in Liberia as of August 2013.