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Reference Date: 02-October-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. The 2014 paddy crop decreased due to prolonged dry weather

  2. Cereal imports in the 2014 marketing year (January/December) forecast to increase

  3. Rice prices remain at record levels, while those of wheat are stable

  4. Overall food security situation has improved but localized food insecurity persists

The 2014 rice output decreased due to prolonged dry weather

Harvesting of the 2014 second season (Yala) rice and maize crops was completed in September. The 2014 Yala rice output, accounting for about 35 percent of the annual production, is officially estimated at 1.2 million tonnes, 30 percent below last year’s record level of the same season. The sharp reduction is mainly the result of a 29 percent contraction in area planted, following a prolonged period of dry weather at the start of the cropping season, particularly in the key north-central and eastern producing areas.

Due to the drought-reduced 2014 main season (Maha), harvested earlier in the year, the 2014 aggregate rice production is officially estimated at 3.6 million tonnes, some 22 percent lower than the 2013 record output and 12 percent below the previous five-year average.

Latest official estimates put the 2014 aggregate maize production (including the 2014 Maha and Yala seasons) at 244 213 tonnes, 2 percent down from the 2013 record level. A 20 percent expansion in the total area planted partially offset the damages caused by dry weather, preventing a larger production decline.

Cereal imports in the 2014 marketing year (January/December) forecast to increase

Imports of wheat, which is not produced domestically, are forecast to remain around last year’s level at 1.1 million tonnes. Minor quantities of rice are also normally imported and are expected to increase considerably in 2014 following the reduced production.

Rice prices at record levels, while those of wheat are stable

Rice prices increased further in September reaching record highs and were 36 percent above their year-earlier levels. Prices were underpinned by a sharp contraction in this year’s paddy production. By contrast, wheat flour quotations, which are normally regulated, remained generally unchanged and close to their year-earlier levels.

Overall food security situation has improved but localized food insecurity persists

The food security situation has improved since 2009 after the end of the 25-year old conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Government forces in 2009. Most of the IDP camps are now closed but based on Government statistics compiled by UNHCR, still some 80 216 people are estimated to be displaced as of mid‑2013, living mostly with host families. The increase in rice prices, the main staple in the country, is also hampering access to food for large numbers of the low‑income population.









Relevant links:
From GIEWS:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Maps
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 2004, 2004, 1997, 1996, 1996
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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