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Country Briefs

  Timor-Leste

Reference Date: 04-August-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Cereal production in 2017 forecast to remain close to last year’s reduced level

  2. Cereal import requirements in 2017/18 forecast to remain close to last year’s high level

  3. Acute food insecurity persists in some pocket areas

Cereal production in 2017 forecast to remain close to last year’s reduced level

Harvesting of the 2017 main season paddy and maize crops is completed. Delayed and erratic rains during the cropping season particularly over the main agricultural areas of the country, kept area planted and yields close to last year’s reduced level. The weather forecast points to an increased likelihood of below-average rains during the July-September period which may negatively affect the 2017 secondary season crops, particularly the predominantly rainfed maize and paddy crops. Overall, the aggregate paddy and maize output is forecast at 130 000 tonnes, close to last year’s reduced level and 20 percent below the previous five-year average.

Cereal import requirements in 2017/18 forecast to remain close to last year’s high level

The country heavily depends on imports to meet its consumption needs. Cereal import requirements in the 2017/18 marketing year (April/March) are forecast at 190 000 tonnes, close to the high level of 2016/17, reflecting the expectation of low domestic production.

Pockets of acute food insecurity persist

Severe and prolonged droughts during 2015 and 2016 affected approximately 350 000 people (one‑third of the total population), mainly located in central highlands, eastern and southwestern parts of the country. According to a joint rapid assessment conducted in July 2017 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and international organizations operating in the country, most of the drought-affected population have not fully recovered and still require humanitarian assistance. The areas of major concern are the municipalities of Baucau, Bobonaro, Covalima, Lautem, Oecussi and coastal regions of Viqueque. Access to food remains a major challenge in most upland areas and some remote villages.

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