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Reference Date: 29-October-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Bumper 2014 paddy and maize production expected

  2. Lower wheat imports in 2014/15 marketing year (May/April)

  3. Prices of wheat and wheat flour generally stable or decreased slightly in late October

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

Bumper 2014 paddy and maize production expected

Harvesting of the 2014 “kharif” season crops, including rice and maize, is currently underway and will continue until early December. Overall, rainfall between June and August has been generally favourable over the main cereal producing areas benefiting crop development. However, heavy monsoon rains during the first dekad of September caused the main eastern rivers of Pakistan (Chenab, Jehlum, Sutlei and Ravi) to overflow, resulting in floods and landslides in eastern parts Punjab, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) provinces. In spite of the severe localized crop losses, the overall damage to the 2014 paddy crop is expected to be minimal. As a result, the recently released official forecast puts this year’s paddy production at 10.1 million tonnes, just 1 percent lower than the 2013 bumper level and 11 percent above the previous five-year average.

Similarly, FAO’s latest forecast puts the 2014 maize crop (including the spring and “kharif” seasons) at 4.5 million tonnes, marginally below last year’s record output.

Planting of the 2015, mostly irrigated, “rabi” (winter) wheat crop is currently underway. The abundant rains in September improved water availability for irrigation and are expected to benefit this season’s crop. The official target for the 2015 wheat crop is set at 26 million tonnes, 3 percent up from the 2014 bumper level. The projected increase is due to anticipated higher yields, as a result of increased use of improved seed varieties.

Lower wheat imports in 2014/15 marketing year (May/April)

Reflecting the record 2014 wheat production, wheat imports for the 2014/15 marketing year (May/April) are forecast to decrease from the high level of the previous year to 500 000 tonnes, which is still considerably above the previous five-year average. Pakistan is the world’s fifth-largest rice exporter. The 2015 rice exports are forecast at 3.5 million tonnes, some 6 percent higher than the above-average level of the year before, based on the anticipated 2014 good rice production.

Prices of wheat and wheat flour generally stable or decreased slightly in late October

Prices of wheat and wheat flour remained unchanged or decreased slightly in late October and were below their levels at the same time last year in most markets, reflecting ample domestic availabilities from the 2014 record harvest, completed earlier in the year.

In September 2014 the national CPI was up 7.7 percent relative to the same period last year. Compared to last year, the food component of the CPI increased by 7.2 percent, while the non-food component rose by 8 percent.

Overall food security conditions stable but concerns remain for the flood-affected population

Overall, food supply conditions are stable following consecutive years of relatively good harvests and adequate levels of imports. However, recurrent floods over the last five years have exacerbated the food security situation of the affected population. The latest official assessmnets, as of 15 October 2014, indicate that the floods last September caused the loss of hundreds of lives, displaced at least 500 000 people and adversely affected approximately more than 2.5 million. Severe damage to housing, infrastructure and agriculture is also reported. In Tharparkar district (southeastern part of Sindh Province), food insecurity has aggravated since early 2014 due to cereal production shortfalls as a result of poor rains for the second successive season, coupled with loss of small animals, mostly sheep and goats, following a viral disease outbreak.









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: 2001, 2000
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles