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Country Briefs

  Nepal

Reference Date: 14-October-2016

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Paddy production forecast to recover in 2016

  2. Cereal imports in 2016/17 (July/June) marketing year forecast at record level

  3. Pockets of severe food insecurity persist

Paddy production forecast to recover in 2016

Harvesting of the 2016 summer (monsoon) paddy crop is about to start and will continue until mid‑December. FAO forecasts the 2016 paddy output to recover to 4.8 million tonnes, up 13 percent from the reduced 2015 level. The favourable outlook reflects an estimated normal level of plantings and an expected return to normal yields following generally favourable weather and reportedly adequate input supplies. Heavy rains in July triggered some localized flooding and landslides in parts of Central and Western regions, but the impact on summer crops was limited.

The 2016 maize crop, recently harvested, is estimated by FAO at 2.2 million tonnes, close to last year’s near‑average level.

The 2016 wheat crop, gathered by June, is estimated at 1.4 million tonnes, 11 percent below the 2015 already reduced level. This was the result of both area and yield reductions due to poor rains during the growing season, coupled with reduced seed, fertilizer and fuel availability following the disruption of cross‑border trade with India from September 2015 to February 2016.

Cereal imports in 2016/17 marketing year (July/June) forecast at record level

Cereal imports in the 2016/17 marketing year (July/June) are forecast to reach a record level of 962 000 tonnes. Reflecting the lower wheat output in 2016, imports of wheat are expected to more than double to 250 000 tonnes. Similarly, rice imports are forecast to increase slightly to 550 000 tonnes in calendar year 2016 reflecting the reduced production in 2015. Maize imports are anticipated to remain close to last year’s level of 200 000 tonnes.

Pockets of severe food insecurity persist

According to official reports, as of July 2016, large numbers of people, mostly concentrated in the districts of Gorkha (Western Region) and Dhading, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchowk (northern parts of Central Region) remain highly food insecure following the widespread devastation caused by the major earthquake in April 2015 that resulted in at least 9 000 deaths. Authorities indicate a significant deterioration of the food security situation in remote areas, particularly in northern parts of Far-Western and Mid-Western regions due to a combination of cereal production shortfalls and reduced income from agricultural activities. Furthermore, floods and landslides in July negatively affected a large number of people particularly in the northern parts of Western and Central regions as well as southern areas of Eastern Region.