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Reference Date: 27-April-2016


  1. Favourable prospects for 2016B agricultural season

  2. Above-average production estimates for 2016A season

  3. Food prices declining in most markets as 2016A season crops increase supplies

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

Favourable prospects for 2016B agricultural season

Planting of the 2016B season crops, to be harvested by May, was completed in March and production prospects are favourable, especially in western and central highlands. Rains started at the beginning of February in most southern cropping areas and were well‑established in the whole country by early March. Meteorological forecasts for the month of May indicate an increased likelihood of normal to above‑normal rainfall, which are expected to have a favourable impact on 2016B season production.

Above-average output for 2016A season crops

Harvesting of the 2016A season crops was finalized in February. The season’s output is estimated at above‑average levels due to abundant, well‑distributed and prolonged “short‑rains” between October and January which induced farmers to substantially increase area planted with maize, beans and cassava and benefited yields. However, production has been below average in some eastern cropping areas, especially in the districts of Kayonza, Kirehe and Nyagatare, due to erratic rains at the beginning of the season.

Staple food prices declining in most markets as 2016A season crops increase supplies

Prices of main staples, cassava flour, beans and maize, which were firm throughout 2015, significantly declined in early 2016 in most markets, as newly‑harvested 2016A season crops increased supplies. In February 2016, beans were traded in the capital, Kigali, at RWA 400 per kg, nearly 40 percent less than in December 2015. However, higher prices were recorded in the markets located in some eastern districts where a below‑average output was gathered. In the Nyagatare retail market, beans were traded in February at RWA 450 per kg, well above the price of RWA 300‑350 per kg registered one year before.

Food security conditions are generally good

Food security conditions have improved since last December when the 2016A season crops started to be available for local consumption, ending the main lean season. Agricultural activities related to cultivation of the 2016B season crops are providing labour opportunities for poor households, improving their purchasing power and access to food. However, food security is deteriorating in some eastern districts as stocks have been depleted earlier than usual following the below‑average 2016A production, and households rely more on markets to meet their food needs.

According to UNHCR, as of end-March, about 75 700 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.

Relevant links:
 Cereal Supply/Demand Balance Sheet
 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: 1998, 1997, 1996, 1996, 1995
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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