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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 22-August-2022


  1. Harvesting of 2022 minor paddy crop started in August

  2. Cereal import requirements forecast at high levels in 2022/23 marketing year

  3. Government implemented various measures to contain increases in food prices

Harvesting of 2022 minor paddy crop started in August

The 2022 minor season paddy harvest started in August and will be completed by September. Crop conditions are generally favourable in the key producing western region (see green areas in the VHI map) due to good seasonal rains between April and July. The ongoing sowing operations of the main paddy crop will continue until end‑September. Weather forecasts point to average to above‑average precipitation for the September‑November period, bolstering yield expectations for the main crop.

The planted area planned for the 2022 paddy crop is at an average level of 90 000 hectares. Availabilities of inputs, including seeds, fertilizers and herbicides, were reported to be sufficient to cover the total annual paddy and maize production in 2022. However, fertilizer imports in the first half of 2022 were 15 percent below the same period of the previous three years, due to high international prices of fertilizers. The 2022 aggregate production of paddy crops, mostly rainfed, is preliminarily forecast at an above‑average level of 390 000 tonnes, reflecting positive yield prospects for both main and minor crops resulting from favourable weather conditions.

Similarly, harvesting of the minor season maize crop is ongoing. Crop conditions in the key producing province of Los Santos, in the southern part of the country, are below the long‑term average due to below‑average precipitation between June and July. Favourable rainfall forecasts in the coming months are expected to replenish soil moisture deficits and improve yields of the 2022 main maize crop, to be harvested from December.

Cereal import requirements forecast at high levels in 2022/23 marketing year

Cereal import requirements in the 2022/23 marketing year (September/August) are forecast at an above‑average level of 835 000 tonnes. This is due to the sustained demand of wheat for human consumption and maize by the feed industry.

Government implemented various measures to contain increases in food prices

Retail prices of rice have been fixed by the Executive Decree No. 165 since mid‑2014. In July 2022, the number of food items falling under the maximum price ceilings was expanded from 14 to 18 and include vegetable oil, spaghetti and elbow pasta, sliced bread and loaf called “michita”, lentils, milk powder, whole chicken, etc.

Regarding beans, after declining seasonally from November 2021 to May 2022, wholesale prices rebounded in June and were about 10 percent higher year on year. Prices of maize also remained higher than their year‑earlier levels as of June 2022, reflecting elevated export prices in the United States of America, the country’s main maize supplier.

In July 2022, the government implemented a series of measures to contain price increases, amid rising inflation, with the annual inflation rate of food items estimated at 4.8 percent in July 2022 . In addition to the expansion of the coverage of the price ceiling programme, the government announced to provide subsidies of 25 percent on 36 locally produced food products sold in the state‑run Agricultural Marketing Institute (IMA) stores and markets. Furthermore, import tariffs on 12 products, including wheat flour, maize meal, soybean and palm oil, were eliminated. For some imported products, such as wheat flour, bread, maize flour and flakes, vegetable oil, the cap on the gross profit margin of its commercialization in retail market was introduced.

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