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Reference Date: 04-June-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. The 2014 Maha season paddy crop reduced by prolonged dry weather

  2. Wheat imports in the 2014 marketing year (January/December) forecast at last year’s level

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

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

The 2014 Maha season rice production reduced by prolonged dry weather

Harvesting of the 2014 main season (Maha) rice and maize crops was completed by mid-April. The 2014 Maha rice output, accounting for over 60 percent of the annual production, is officially estimated at 2.4 million tonnes, 17 percent below last year’s record level of the same season. The sharp reduction is mainly the result of a 15 percent contraction in area planted, following the prolonged dry weather since the beginning of the season particularly in the key northern and eastern producing areas. Early prospects for the 2014 mostly irrigated secondary Yala rice crop, currently being planted, are also unfavourable. This mainly reflects insufficient availability of water supplies for irrigation following the dry weather earlier in the year, which is likely to result in reduced plantings and yields. FAO tentatively forecasts the 2014 aggregate rice production (including the 2014 Maha and the ongoing 2014 Yala seasons) at 3.9 million tonnes, some 16 percent lower than the 2013 record output and 4 percent below the average level of the previous five years.

Recently revised official forecasts put the 2014 aggregate maize production (including the 2014 Maha and the ongoing 2014 secondary Yala seasons) at a record level of 256 215 tonnes, 3 percent up from the 2013 bumper level. The projected record output is mainly attributed to a 24 percent expansion in the area planted in the Maha season, which more than offset the damages due to the dry weather.

Wheat imports in the 2014 marketing year (January/December) forecast at last year’s level

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 imports are also normally imported and are expected to increase in 2014 following the reduced production.

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

Rice prices decreased slightly in May but remained at considerably higher levels compared to the same month last year. This reflects a reduced 2014 main season Maha paddy output and unfavourable prospects for the 2014 secondary season harvest. In the capital city market, the retail prices of rice were at levels 15 percent higher than a year earlier. Prices of wheat flour, which are normally regulated, have remained stable in recent months and were slightly lower than 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 prices of rice, the main staple in the country, is also hampering access to food of 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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