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Reference Date: 16-December-2013


  1. Above-average aggregate cereal crop estimated for 2013

  2. Rice and wheat prices at high levels

  3. Overall food supply has improved across the country

Above-average aggregate cereal crop estimated for 2013

Harvesting of the 2013 main summer season crops, mainly paddy rice and millet, is completed. Given prolonged and favourable rains, coupled with good input supplies during the growing season, the 2013 aggregate paddy output is estimated by FAO at 4.6 million tonnes, 2 percent up on the 2012 output affected by adverse weather. Similarly, the 2013 maize production is officially estimated to increase by 3 percent over the 2012 level and reach 2.1 million tonnes, while wheat production is put at a record level of 1.88 million tonnes, some 2 percent above the 2012 good output. Overall, the 2013 cereal production is estimated at 8.9 million tonnes, some 2 percent above the 2012 level. However, pocket areas reportedly suffered some wheat crop damage, due to hailstorms, insufficient rainfall and lack of fertilizers.

Sowing of the 2013/14 winter wheat crop has recently been completed under generally favourable weather conditions.

The cereal import requirements in the current 2013/14 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 621 800 tonnes, up on previous year’s 531 800 tonnes. Rice and maize constitute the bulk of the imports.

Rice and wheat prices at high levels

In the major consumer market, Kathmandu, prices of rice strengthened in October, due to an increase in demand attributed to the Dashain and Tihar festivals. Prices of wheat flour stabilized in recent months, after they had seasonally increased during the lean period (July to August) The annual consumer price index (CPI) in November 2013 was up 9.9 percent relative to the same period a year before. The food and beverages component of the CPI rose by 9.6 percent.

Overall food supply has improved across the country

Overall, the food security situation in the country is satisfactory following the above-average harvest, improved employment opportunities provided by development programmes and relatively regular supply of food to the local markets. However, near-record prices and high general inflation result in reduced purchasing power and are a concern especially for the low income sections of the population.

Pockets of food insecurity exist in some districts, including Dailekh (located in Mid-Western Development Region), following reduced winter wheat crop harvest as a result of hailstorms, as well as Darchula (located in Far-Western Development Region), due to the negative effects of floods this year.

Relevant links:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 2007
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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