GIEWS > Data & Tools > Earth Observation
GIEWS - Global Information and Early Warning System

Country Briefs


Reference Date: 26-January-2023


  1. Declining trend in plantings expected to continue in 2023 first minor season

  2. Cereal import requirements forecast at below‑average levels in 2022/23 marketing year

  3. High food inflation severely limits access to food

Declining trend in plantings expected to continue in 2023 first minor season

Planting of the 2023 first minor paddy season, accounting on average for about onethird of the annual production, is ongoing. Planted area is forecast to decrease for the fourth consecutive year and remain at belowaverage levels due to persistent lack of agricultural inputs. In Pinar del Rio, one of the four main rice producing provinces, the low level of sowings is also due to the damages to the irrigation system caused by Hurricane Ian in September 2022. Farmers reportedly used biofertilizers, amid the lack of chemical ones. Despite belowaverage rainfall amounts during the last quarter of 2022, conditions of germinating crops were overall good. In the February to March period, dry weather conditions are forecast in the western part of the country, likely constraining yield potential, while average precipitation amounts are expected in central and eastern areas.

The 2023 minor maize crop is at vegetative and flowering stages, and its conditions are generally good. The seasonal area sown is expected to be also below average.

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

Cereal import requirements in the 2022/23 marketing year (July/June) are anticipated at a belowaverage level of 1.6 million tonnes, reflecting the declining population since 2019 and the low livestock production. Cereal imports in the 2021/22 marketing year were well below the average, as high international cereal prices curtailed the country’s capacity to import.

High food inflation severely limits access to food

Although the number of incoming tourists rebounded in 2022, increasing foreign currency reserves, the country’s economy has recovered modestly in 2022 and remained below the pre‑pandemic level. After unifying the dual exchange rates in January 2021, which resulted in the devaluation of the country’s currency by 96 percent, inflation soared in 2021 and, at a lesser extent, in 2022. Annual inflation rates of food items were officially estimated at 114 percent in 2021 and 63 percent in November 2022. High food prices have severely eroded the purchasing power of vulnerable households, limiting their access to food.

Availability of food in local markets has been declining since 2019 due to the low level of domestic production and imports. In addition, the country’s capacity to import essential food and fuel commodities was constrained by the high level of international prices, with compounding effects on domestic supply.

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.

This brief was prepared using the following data/tools:
FAO/GIEWS Country Cereal Balance Sheet (CCBS)

FAO/GIEWS Food Price Monitoring and Analysis (FPMA) Tool .

FAO/GIEWS Earth Observation for Crop Monitoring .

Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) .