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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 07-December-2022


  1. Favourable weather conditions for 2022 main maize crops

  2. Economic growth resumed in 2022, after stagnation in 2021

  3. About 51 400 refugees and asylum seekers hosted in country

Favourable weather conditions for 2022 main maize crops

The main food crop is cassava, which is cultivated throughout the year, alternatively in northern and southern regions, depending on the rainy season. A limited quantity of cereals is also grown in the country, mainly maize, which is largely used for the production of livestock feed.

Harvesting of the 2022 main season maize crop is about to start in mid‑December and the output is forecast at a near‑average level, following overall beneficial weather conditions during the season, which had a positive impact on yields. According to the latest weather forecasts, favourable weather conditions are likely to persist until the end of the harvest period in early 2023.

Planting of the 2023 secondary season maize crop, to be harvested in June and July next year, is expected to start in February.

Economic growth resumed in 2022, after stagnation in 2021

Agriculture contributes to a small portion of the national Gross domestic product (GDP), reflecting the predominance of the petroleum industry. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the national GDP contracted by about 8 percent in 2020, due to the effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic on global oil prices, which fell sharply due to weak demand, and on the country’s economy. Economic growth stagnated in 2021 as national production capacity of crude oil was curbed by delays in large maintenance work due to the COVID‑19 pandemic. However, as the petroleum output started to gradually increase, the GDP is forecast to rise by about 4.3 percent in 2022 and 4.6 percent in 2023.

On 30 September 2022, in an attempt to reduce soaring inflation, the Ministry of Economy and Finance announced the immediate exemption of 16 commodities from customs duties and Value‑added tax (VAT) for a period of one year. These products include wheat, refined vegetable oil, rice, powdered milk, fertilizers, animal feed and seeds ( FPMA Food Policy ) . However, inflation is expected to remain at high levels over the remainder of 2022 due to rising global food prices, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine that has caused disruptions in the global supply chain and the depreciation of the national currency against the United States dollar. According to the IMF, the annual inflation rate was estimated at 2 percent in 2021 and is forecast at 3.5 percent in 2022.

Domestic cereal production covers only a small portion of the consumption requirements and imports account for approximately 90 percent of the total cereal utilization. With a population of about 6 million, total cereal imports for the 2022 marketing year (January/December) are forecast at a near‑average level of 350 000 tonnes, including 210 000 tonnes of wheat and 130 000 tonnes of rice.

About 51 400 refugees and asylum seekers hosted in country

The country hosts about 51 400 refugees and asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, mostly located in northern Likouala and Plateaux departments. Host communities face food shortages and limited livelihood opportunities, and refugees’ food security relies heavily on ongoing humanitarian assistance.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.