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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 08-March-2022


  1. Cereal production in 2021 estimated at below‑average level

  2. Cereal import requirements in 2021/22 marketing year (July/June) estimated at above‑average level

  3. Income losses due to COVID‑19 pandemic raise concerns regarding access to food

Aggregate cereal production in 2021 estimated at below‑average level

The 2021 cropping season finalized last November and the aggregate cereal production, mostly rice and maize, is estimated at about 123 000 tonnes, 12 percent below the five‑year average. The decrease in output reflects the steady reduction in the area planted for both rice and maize as farmers prefer to grow more profitable quinoa, vegetables and spice crops. Localized damages to standing crops, mostly paddy in the low‑lying areas, were reported in the minor northwestern producing districts due to floods following heavy rains in June 2021.

Cereal import requirements in 2021/22 estimated at above‑average level

The country relies heavily on cereal imports, mostly from India, as local production covers only about two‑thirds of the total national consumption. Cereal imports consist mostly of rice and small quantities of maize and wheat. In the 2021/22 marketing year (July/June), total cereal import requirements are estimated at an above‑average level of 114 000 tonnes, mainly reflecting the demographic growth and the reduced output of paddy in 2021.

COVID‑19 pandemic continues to affect livelihoods of large number of people

Most households in the country are food secure. However, pockets of food insecurity conditions persist in some rural areas, especially in eastern and southern parts of the country, where a large number of households consume poor quality foods, mainly due to inadequate access to the food markets. Across the country, the food security conditions for most vulnerable households have deteriorated since the beginning of the COVID‑19 pandemic due to income losses and the strong decrease in remittance inflows, which reduced households’ purchasing capacity and restricted access to food.

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