No.3  October 2006  
   Crop Prospects and Food Situation

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Food Emergencies Update

Global cereal supply and demand brief

Low-Income Food-Deficit country food situation overview

Regional reviews

Special features

Statistical appendix

Terminology and notes

Terminology and notes



Stable The Low-Income Food-Deficit (LIFDC) group of countries includes food deficit countries with per caput annual income below the level used by the World Bank to determine eligibility for IDA assistance (i.e. US$1 465 in 2003), which is in accordance with the guidelines and criteria agreed to by the CFA should be given priority in the allocation of food aid.

Stable The import requirement is the difference between utilization (food, feed other uses, exports plus closing stocks) and domestic availability (production plus opening stocks). Utilization is based on historical values, adjusted upon assessment of the country’s current economic situation.

Stable The main wheat and coarse grain exporters are Argentina, Australia, Canada, the EU and the United States. The main rice exporters are China (including Taiwan Province), Pakistan, Thailand, the United States and Viet Nam.

Stable Countries facing unfavourable prospects for current crops are countries where prospects point to a shortfall in production of current crops as a result of the area planted and/or adverse weather conditions, plant pests, diseases and other calamities, which indicate a need for close monitoring of the crop for the remainder of the growing season.

Stable Countries in Crisis Requiring External Assistance are expected to lack the resources to deal with reported critical problems of food insecurity. Food crises are nearly always due to a combination of factors, but for the purpose of response planning, it is important to establish whether the nature of food crises is predominantly related to lack of food availability, limited access to food, or severe but localized problems. Accordingly, the list of countries requiring external assistance is organized into three broad, not mutually exclusive, categories:

• Countries facing an exceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies as a result of crop failure, natural disasters, interruption of imports, disruption of distribution, excessive post-harvest losses, or other supply bottlenecks.

• Countries with widespread lack of access, where a majority of the population is considered to be unable to procure food from local markets, due to very low incomes, exceptionally high food prices, or the inability to circulate within the country.

• Countries with severe localized food insecurity due to the influx of refugees, a concentration of internally displaced persons, or areas with combinations of crop failure and deep poverty.

NOTE: This report is prepared on the responsibility of the FAO Secretariat with information from official and unofficial sources. Since conditions can change rapidly and information may not always represent the current crop or food supply situation as of present date, further enquiries should be made before any action is taken. None of the reports should be regarded in any way as statements of governmental views.

This report and other GIEWS reports are available on the Internet as part of the FAO World Wide Web ( at the following URL address: In addition, GIEWS special reports and special alerts, when published, can be received by E-mail through automatic mailing lists: subscription information is available at

GIEWS  global information and early warning system on food and agriculture

Continuously monitors crop prospects and food security situation at global, regional, national and sub-national levels and warns of impending food difficulties and emergencies. Established in the wake of the world food crisis of the early 1970's the GIEWS maintains a unique database on all aspects of food supply and demand for every country of the world. The System regularly provides policy makers and the international community with up-to-date and accurate information so that timely interventions can be planned and suffering avoided.


Enquiries may be directed to:

Henri Josserand, Chief, Global Information and Early Warning Service

Commodities and Trade Division, (ESC), FAO, Rome

Direct Facsimile: 0039-06-5705-4495, E-mail: [email protected]

Or find us on the FAO World Wide Web site ( at:



The designations employed and the presentation of material in this report do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

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GIEWS   global information and early warning system on food and agriculture