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Reference Date: 16-September-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. The 2014 cereal production is forecast to decrease considerably

  2. Cereal import requirements forecast to remain above the previous five-year average

  3. Food insecurity remains a concern for the low-income population

The 2014 cereal production is estimated to decrease considerably

Harvesting of winter crops (mainly wheat) was completed by mid-August, while that of spring crops (mainly maize and rice) is well underway and is expected to continue until the end of September. On average, the wheat crop accounts for about 90 percent of the total cereal production. This year’s wheat production is officially reported at 1.1 million tonnes, 20 percent below last year’s record level and 12 percent below the five-year average. The decrease is mainly attributed to estimated lower yields, following unseasonably cold temperatures during the winter, as well as below-average rains and shortages of irrigation water particularly over the eastern parts of the country during the growing period. Total cereal production in 2014 is estimated at 1.28 million tonnes, 18 percent below last year’s above-average level.

Planting of winter cereal crops, mainly wheat, started in mid-August and will continue until November. Early indications point that the area planted to wheat in 2015 is expected to remain similar to last year’s level at 850 000 hectares.

Cereal import requirements forecast to remain above the previous five-year average

Due to an anticipated production decline in 2014, cereal imports for the 2014/15 marketing year (July/June) are estimated to increase by 23 percent to 151 000 tonnes and 37 percent above the previous five-year average. The proportion of wheat imports to food consumption has significantly decreased from 58 percent in 2008/09 to 11 percent in 2013/14. The country imports wheat mainly from Kazakhstan and rice from the Russian Federation.

Food insecurity remains a concern for the low-income population

Prices of wheat flour and bread increased for a second consecutive month in August, due to the elimination of social subsidies. The high unemployment rate, particularly in rural areas, and high prices of main staple foods have contributed to stressing food security conditions of the low-income population.







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