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  Congo

Reference Date: 30-April-2021

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Favourable weather conditions for 2021 secondary maize crop

  2. Import requirements in 2020 estimated at near‑average level

  3. Restrictive measures related to COVID‑19 pandemic had severe negative impact on economy and food security

Favourable weather conditions for 2021 secondary maize crop

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 cultivated in the country, mainly maize, which is largely used for the production of livestock feed.

Harvesting of the 2020 main season maize crop finalized last January and the output is estimated at near‑average levels, following beneficial weather conditions during the season, which had a positive impact on yields.

Planting of the 2021 secondary maize crop, to be harvested in June and July, was completed in March under overall favourable weather conditions. According to satellite‑based imagery, precipitation amounts have been adequate and well distributed since the beginning of the season, benefitting soil moisture and resulting in near‑average vegetation conditions as of mid‑April.

Import requirements in 2020 estimated at near‑average level

Domestic crop 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 5.5 million, the total cereal import requirements for the 2020 marketing year (January/December) are estimated at a near‑average level of 370 000 tonnes, including 244 000 tonnes of wheat and 110 000 tonnes of rice.

Restrictive measures related to COVID‑19 pandemic had severe negative impact on economy and food security

The negative impact of the restrictive measures related to the COVID‑19 pandemic on informal labour and on food supply chains, resulted, on one side, in the loss of income and, on the other, in high food prices due to a decline in food supply. These factors limited the access to food for the most vulnerable population.

Agriculture contributes to a small portion of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), reflecting the predominance of the petroleum industry. It is estimated that the national GDP contracted by about 9 percent in 2020, owing to the effects of the outbreak of the COVID‑19 pandemic on global oil prices (which fell sharply) and on the country’s economy.

The country hosts about 247 000 refugees and asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and Rwanda. The northern Likouala Province hosts 27 000 refugees from the Central African Republic and 21 000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Following an outbreak of violence related to the 27 December 2020 elections in the Central African Republic, an additional 5 000 refugees arrived in Likouala Province, mostly in Kpakaya Department, between mid‑December 2020 and late February 2021. The refugees’ food security is essentially guaranteed by continued 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.