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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 22-November-2016


  1. Favourable start of 2017A cropping season

  2. Food prices on the rise

  3. Acute food insecurity persists in some eastern districts

  4. Significant number of refugees from Burundi in need of humanitarian assistance

Favourable start of 2017A agricultural season

Planting of the 2017A has been completed at the end of October. After a timely onset at the end of September, seasonal rains have been erratic during the first two dekads of October, but they resumed by the end of the month, benefitting crop development in most agricultural areas. The 2017A season early forecast for crop production is at average levels as rainfall amounts for the remainder of the season are expected to be good, especially in western and central cropping areas. Lower production levels are likely in eastern and southern drought-prone areas, where rains might be less favourable.

Food prices on the increase

According to the National Statistics Institute of Rwanda, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by about 3 percent between September and October 2016, when it was 9 percent higher than 12 months earlier. The increase in the CPI is mainly due to rising food prices, as the October year-on-year inflation rate for food and non-alcoholic beverages stood at 16.4 percent. In particular, prices of vegetables in October 2016 were 20 percent higher than 12 months earlier, while prices of bread and cereals increased by about 11 percent over the same period.

Food insecurity persists in eastern districts

Acute food insecurity persists in eastern districts of Kayonza and Nyagatare following a below‑average 2016B output, harvested in June/July. In these areas, stocks have been quickly depleted and poor households started to rely on food markets earlier than usual. Although the recent planting activities have improved labour opportunities and provided some income, the lean season is expected to be long and harsh until early December, when first 2017A season crops will be available for local consumption.

According to UNHCR, as of late September, about 82 000 refugees from Burundi are hosted in the Mahama (Kirehe District in the Eastern Province) and Kigali camps, and their food security is essentially guaranteed by continued humanitarian assistance.