Reference Date: 22-October-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
2014 rice production forecast to decrease
Cereal imports in 2014/15 marketing year forecast to increase to record level
Rice and wheat prices at high levels
Overall food supply has improved with record 2013 cereal production
The 2014 rice production forecast to decrease
Harvesting of the 2014 main season rice crop has just begun and will continue in mid-December. FAO forecasts this year’s rice production at 4.6 million tonnes, down 9 percent from last year’s bumper level but close to the average of the past five years. The decrease is attributed to an estimated 6 percent contraction in area planted as a result of late and below-average monsoon rains which hindered sowing operations and reduced yields. Additional damages to the crop were caused by floods and landslides across Mid-Western and Far-Western regions of the country following heavy rains in August.
Harvesting of the 2014 maize crop was completed in September. FAO’s estimate puts this year’s maize output at 2.3 million tonnes, around last year’s good level. Similarly, the 2014 wheat output, harvested in June, is estimated to remain close to last year’s record level and reach 1.9 million tonnes.
Cereal imports in the 2014/15 marketing year (July/June) forecast to increase to record level
Cereal import requirements for the 2014/15 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 571 800 tonnes, about 10 percent above last year’s high level. Most of this volume is rice, imports of which are anticipated at 500 000 tonnes, up 10 percent from the previous year’s record level, reflecting reduced 2014 production and sustained demand. Maize imports in the 2014/15 marketing year (July/June) are forecast to remain similar to the low level of 2013/14, reflecting a good harvest for a second consecutive year.
Overall food supply has improved across the country
Overall, the food security situation in the country is satisfactory following average to above-average harvest, improved employment opportunities provided by development programmes and the relatively regular supply of food to the local markets, including those in the hill and mountain areas. However, recent floods affected at least 230 000 people, damaged houses and infrastructure. Crop and livestock losses of the affected households were also reported.