Reference Date: 16-August-2023
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Despite mixed start of 2023 rainy season, paddy plantings progressing well
Prices of rice close to or below year‑earlier levels in June
Despite mixed start of 2023 rainy season, plantings progressing well
Planting operations of the 2023 main (wet) paddy crop, which accounts for about 80 percent of the national annual production, started at the end of May with some delay due to the late onset of seasonal rains. Since then, rainfall amounts have been near average in the key rice producing southern and some central provinces, benefitting planting operations and improving moisture conditions for growing crops. By contrast, in the northwestern rice production areas, below‑average rainfall amounts persisted until mid‑July, constraining planting activities and affecting early crop development. In particular, in parts of the provinces of Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Siem Reap, which together account for about 25 percent of the main season’s paddy output, the FAO’s Agricultural Stress Index (ASI), as of early August, indicate water deficits (yellow, orange and red areas in ASI map). According to official estimates, as of early August, about 2.5 million hectares were planted with paddy, which is 10 percent above the reduced level in the corresponding period of 2022. Weather forecasts indicate average to above‑average rainfall amounts in the August to October period, potentially allowing plantings to progress further and crops to develop favourably. However, forecasts indicate high temperatures for the same period, which, in combination with abundant rains, raise the risk of pest infestations. The 2023 mostly irrigated secondary (dry) crop will be planted at the end of the year.
Planting of the 2023 main maize crop, to be harvested between September and October, is nearing completion. According to official estimates, as of mid‑July, the area planted surpassed the record level of last year, supported by high domestic prices and the strong demand from the feed industry. However, moisture deficits in the main maize producing areas, including Battambang Province that account for almost 65 percent of the main season maize production, will likely have negative effects on yields, particularly of early planted crops.
Prices of rice near or below year‑earlier levels in June
Wholesale prices of rice have been generally stable since the beginning of 2023, and in June, they were near or below their year‑earlier levels, reflecting an adequate market supply. However, prices increased in the capital city, Phnom Penh, and in June, they were about 10 percent above the level of a year earlier, mainly due to high transport costs. Similarly, in Battambang market, an important producing area, prices in June were 20 percent higher year‑on‑year.
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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)