Reference Date: 04-September-2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
An above average rice production is expected in 2013
Inflation dropped, driven by more stable currency
Above-average harvest anticipated in 2013
Harvesting of the main rice crop is expected to begin in September. Rains and soil moisture have been generally adequate since the beginning of the cropping season, allowing satisfactory development of crops according to satellite imagery. Rice production is forecast to expand further this year.
An above-average harvest was gathered in 2012, owing to favourable climatic conditions in the main rice growing regions. The 2012 rice production was estimated at about 1.4 million tonnes, 9 percent higher than the 2011 good output and well above the average of the previous five years. Similarly, a good cassava harvest was gathered.
Yield levels for rice have grown only gradually since the end of the civil war, and production gains are mainly as a result of an expansion in the cultivated area, which has grown each year since 2003.
The country’s dependency on imported rice has been decreasing; however, it is still a net rice importer, with imports expected to reach approximately 80 000 tonnes in 2013, about 15 percent of requirements.
Access to food has improved reflecting lower inflation
Access to food has improved in recent months, driven mostly by lower prices of imported commodities.
The steep depreciation of the Leone (local currency) since 2009 led to higher inflation rates. Average national inflation is estimated to have reached 16 percent in 2011.
However, the national currency became relatively stable from early 2012 on, pushing inflation down to 12.9 percent in 2012. Consumer price inflation is forecast to drop further to 12.2 percent in 2013 driven by a continuing recovery of the Leone and more stable international commodity prices.
Nearly 50 percent of households’ expenditure in urban, peri-urban and rural areas is allocated to food purchases, according to a WFP recent assessment.