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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 28-October-2022


  1. Cereal production in 2022 forecast well above average

  2. Below‑average cereal imports forecast in 2022

  3. Prices of coarse grains increased significantly in 2022 and are well above year‑earlier levels

  4. Acute food insecurity underpinned by increasing food prices and severe macroeconomic difficulties

Cereal production in 2022 forecast well above average

Harvesting of rice and main season maize crops is about to conclude in southern parts of the country, while it is expected to continue in northern parts, together with the harvesting of sorghum and millet crops, until December. Planting of the secondary maize crops in the south was completed recently and production prospects are overall favourable.

The rainy season had a timely start in March in southern areas and progressed towards the north with adequate precipitation amounts, supporting land preparation and early crop development. Rains had an overall even distribution in time and space, and, as of September, cumulative rainfall amounts were conducive for crop development, boosting yield expectations. However, heavy rainfall episodes between August and early October caused localized floods, mostly in the north of the country, affecting about 80 000 hectares of crops and disrupting agricultural livelihoods.

The planted area to cereal crops in 2022 is expected to be near the previous year’s above‑average level, supported by high prices and strong demand, particularly for exports towards neighbouring Sahelian countries. In addition, the government has continued to implement, during the 2022 cropping season, a programme for distribution of fertilizers and improved seeds at subsidized prices. Albeit the subsidy rates were lowered in 2022 compared to 2021, due to increasing fiscal constraints and currency depreciation, amid high international prices, the programme enhanced farmers’ access to agricultural inputs.

Despite some localized crop losses due to floods, the national cereal production in 2022 is officially forecast at a bumper level of 5.6 million tonnes, 10 percent above the previous year’s level and over 35 percent above the five‑year average, reflecting high levels of plantings and overall conducive weather conditions.

Below‑average cereal imports forecast in 2022

The country relies on imports, mostly of rice and wheat, to meet its domestic cereal requirements. In the 2022 calendar year, imports of cereals are forecast at 1.5 million tonnes, well below the record level in 2021 and about 15 percent below the previous five‑year average. This includes 800 000 tonnes of rice, about 25 percent lower on a yearly basis and nearly 10 percent below the five‑year average, due to the large availability resulting from the 2021 bumper rice harvests; as well as 600 000 tonnes of wheat, about 35 percent lower compared to 2021 and over 25 percent below the average, reflecting high international prices and the interruption of shipments from the ports in the Black Sea Region.

Prices of coarse grains increased significantly in 2022 and are well above year‑earlier levels

Prices of locally produced coarse grains increased steadily in 2021 and the first half of 2022. Following some seasonal easing of prices in July and August, the upward trend resumed in September. Despite average to above‑average market supplies from the good cereal outputs obtained in 2021 and 2022, prices of maize, sorghum and millet were up to about 40, 75 and 110 percent, respectively, above their levels in September 2021. The high price anomalies were underpinned by persistent inflationary pressures due to strong export demand and high international commodity prices. Furthermore, the depreciation of the Ghanaian cedi, that was equivalent to GHS 10.1/USD 1 in September 2022 compared to GHS 5.86/USD 1 in September 2021, has increased the cost of imported goods.

In order to mitigate the price increases and secure market availability, a ban on cereal exports was enforced between September 2021 and September 2022.

Acute food insecurity underpinned by increasing food prices and severe macroeconomic difficulties

According to the March 2022 “Cadre Harmonisé” (CH) analysis, about 280 000 people were estimated to face acute food insecurity between June and August 2022, including 16 800 people in CH Phase 4 (Emergency). This is below the 410 000 people estimated to be acutely food insecure during the same period in 2021. The decrease in absolute terms is mostly due to a reduction in the coverage of the analysis in 2022, while high food prices remain the main driver of acute food insecurity.

Despite the ongoing cereal harvests, which are expected to improve food availability, concerns about access to food persist as food prices stand at elevated levels and purchasing power of the most vulnerable households remains under pressure, amid severe macroeconomic difficulties, including rampant inflation. The annual inflation rate reached a record high of 34 percent in September 2022, following sustained increases since June 2021. Currency depreciation and low foreign exchange reserves were contributory factors to the inflationary pressure and resulted in increased costs of imports of essential products. In addition, unsustainable debt levels, monetary tightening and reduced domestic private consumption, and investment slowed down economic growth in 2022, reducing income generating opportunities for the most vulnerable. New CH estimates of the number of people facing acute food insecurity in the last quarter of 2022 are expected to be released in late November by the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).

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