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Reference Date: 20-November-2015


  1. Planting of 2016 wheat crop in progress under mostly favourable conditions

  2. Rice production in 2015 forecast to decrease

  3. Reduced wheat imports forecast in 2015/16 marketing year (May/April)

  4. Prices of wheat and wheat flour declined in February and well below year-earlier levels

  5. Overall food security conditions stable but localized food insecurity persists

Planting of 2016 wheat crop in progress under mostly favourable conditions

Planting of the 2016, mostly irrigated, ‘’rabi’’ (winter) wheat crop is currently underway. The official planting intentions survey points to a 2 percent year-on-year contraction to 8.98 million hectares. The reduction reflects high production costs, ample stocks and the Government decision to leave minimum support prices unchanged this year.

However, despite this, the early official forecast of production in 2016 points to a record output of 26 million tonnes, 3 percent up from the 2015 bumper level, under expectations that good water availability in the main reservoirs and adequate supply of quality seeds, fertilizers and herbicides will increase average yields.

Rice production in 2015 forecast to decrease

Harvesting of the 2015 rainfed “kharif” season crops, mostly rice and maize, is currently underway and is expected to be concluded in early December. Latest official estimates put the 2015 rice production at 9.9 million tonnes, 6 percent below the 2014 record level. The forecast decrease is largely due to a 5 percent contraction in area planted in response to large stocks and high production costs. Localized floods across northern and northeastern parts of the country, following heavy rains in July and August, caused only minor damage to crops. FAO’s latest forecast puts the 2015 aggregate maize production similar to last year’s good level of 4.6 million tonnes. Final official estimates of the 2015 wheat crop, harvested by mid-June, put output at 25.5 million tonnes, 2 percent below last year’s record and 4 percent above the five-year average. The year-on-year decrease is attributed to slightly lower yields, following heavy rains in March, which affected standing crops in the final stages of development.

Reduced wheat imports forecast in 2015/16 marketing year (April/May)

Wheat imports for the 2015/16 marketing year (May/April) are forecast to decline to 250 000 tonnes from 741 000 tonnes in the previous year, in line with the 2015 good output and large carryover stocks. Rice exports for the 2015/16 marketing year (September/August) are forecast at 3.9 million tonnes, close to last year’s high level.

Prices of wheat and wheat flour increased slightly in first two weeks of November

Prices of wheat and wheat flour increased slightly during the first two weeks of November, mainly due to the growing costs of locally-produced wheat. However, prices remained below their year earlier levels. Prices of rice decreased in most markets, reflecting new supplies from the ongoing 2015 harvest.

Overall food security conditions stable but concerns remain in Tharparkar District and northern Pakistan

Overall, the food supply situation is stable following consecutive years of good harvests and large carryover stocks of the main staples.

According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis conducted in March-June 2015, out of 148 districts, 29 districts in Pakistan were classified under Phase 3: “Crisis” (highly food insecure and require immediate attention) and four districts were found under Phase 4: “Humanitarian Emergency” (severely food insecure and need immediate response). In Tharparkar District (southeastern Sindh Province) and the surrounding areas of Sindh Province, cereal production shortfalls due to drought-like situation for the third consecutive year, coupled with losses of small animals, especially sheep and goats, have aggravated food insecurity and caused acute malnutrition. Furthermore, the floods in July and August had affected approximately 1.5 million people, mainly in Sindth Province. Severe damage to housing and infrastructure, including roads and bridges has also been reported. In addition, losses of stored food and livestock are likely to be high in the most affected areas, resulting in a deterioration of the food security situation of the affected population. Recurrent insecurity has negatively impacted on food security in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), located in northern Pakistan. According to the FATA Disaster Management Authority, as of mid-November 2015, some 638 144 people remained temporarily displaced.

Relevant links:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 2001, 2000
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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