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Reference Date: 21-December-2015

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Early prospects for 2016 cereal production poor due lack of incentives for producers and lack of foreign exchange for much-needed inputs to sector

  2. Prospects for 2015/16 cereal import levels uncertain in view of difficult economic situation

  3. Consumer prices continued to increase steadily throughout 2015

Cereal production poor in 2015

Although firm information is lacking, cereal production in 2015 is estimated to have fallen to a relatively low level reflecting the negative impact of the country’s difficult economic conditions on the agriculture sector. Controlled prices for the main products do not reflect increased production costs and thus provide little incentives to farmers and the lack of foreign exchange is an impediment to acquiring inputs, equipment and spare parts. Furthermore, analysis of satellite-based data indicates that seasonal rainfall was below normal in many of the crop-producing areas for the second year in succession, which has likely been a further limit on production. Planting of the first 2016 rice and maize crops is ongoing under generally favourable weather conditions in the main producing regions of Portuguesa, Guárico and Barinas. However, with no change in current policies and given the unfavourable economic climate for producers, sown areas are expected to remain at similar levels to last year and any significant increase in production seems unlikely at this stage.

Uncertain outlook for cereal imports in 2015/16 marketing year (July/June)

Given the reduced level of cereal production estimated in 2015, a larger percentage of the country’s utilization needs would be expected to have to come from imports in the 2015/16 marketing year (July/June). The country normally relies quite heavily on cereal imports and estimates indicate that already in 2014/15, shipments into the country increased on account of continuing strong demand in the face of faltering domestic production. Imports are forecast to retract somewhat in 2015/16 given indications that the poultry industry is expected to cut back production reducing demand for feed, also a reflection of the difficult economic situation and the uncertainty surrounding the availability of foreign exchange for overseas purchases.

Consumer prices reported to have increased steadily in past months

The Venezuelan consumer price index continued to rise during all of 2015. The increase is being sustained by high demand for food and the high rate of inflation.







Relevant links:
From GIEWS:
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Maps
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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