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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 01-February-2023


  1. Production of cereals in 2022 expected slightly above average

  2. Above‑average imports of rice estimated in 2022

  3. About 650 000 people estimated to be acute food insecure in 2022

Production of cereals in 2022 expected slightly above average

Harvesting of the 2022 paddy rice crop, the main cereal grown in the country, is underway and is expected to be completed by the end of January. Harvesting of coarse grains (maize, millet and sorghum) was completed in November 2022. Overall favourable weather conditions enhanced planting operations and supported crop development, while the provision of subsidized agricultural inputs by the government, including seeds and fertilizers, boosted yields. Localized crop losses occurred across the country due to dry spells and floods.

According to official estimates, aggregate cereal production in 2022 is forecast at about 4.1 million tonnes, near the previous year’s level and about 4 percent above the five‑year average.

Aboveaverage imports of rice estimated in 2022

The country relies on imports to meet its domestic cereal requirements. In the 2022 calendar year, imports of rice are estimated at about 850 000 tonnes, 17 percent above the five‑year average, underpinned by strong domestic and export demand. Wheat imports in 2022 are estimated at 355 000 tonnes, about 9 percent below the previous year’s average level. The reduced imported quantities of wheat are mostly associated to high international prices and the interruption of shipments of wheat from the Black Sea region.

About 650 000 people estimated to be acute food insecure in 2022

According to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” (CH) analysis, nearly 650 000 people were estimated to face acute food insecurity (CH Phase 3 [Crisis] and above) between October and December 2022, primarily due to high food prices, which severely constrained food access of the most vulnerable households.

Weather shocks and forced migration are other factors that had a negative impact on livelihoods and food security conditions. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as of mid‑December 2022, floods affected about 48 000 people in eastern and western areas of the country. Furthermore, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as of December 2022, about 2 500 people sought shelter in the country as refugees and asylum seekers, mostly from Sierra Leone.

Levels of acute food insecurity are expected to increase in 2023. Food prices are likely to remain at high levels, supported by the unfolding effects of the war in Ukraine on international trade. In the June to August 2023 lean season period, over 920 000 people are projected to face acute food insecurity, including about 2 500 people in CH Phase 4 (Emergency).

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)