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Reference Date: 11-November-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Below-average 2014 cereal production expected to be offset by strong growth in root and tuber production
Harvesting of coarse grains is underway in the northern part of the country which has only one rainy season. In the South, harvesting of the 2014 second season maize crop is about to start. Erratic precipitation in parts of the country has affected crop yields, leading to a reduced 2014 cereal harvest. The National Agricultural Statistics Service has forecasted a below‑average 2014 cereal harvest of about 1.3 million tonnes. Production of maize, the main staple cereal, is forecast to decline by 4 percent compared to last year’s below-average level of 1.058 million tonnes. By contrast, a good production of roots and tuber crops is expected, with cassava output forecast to expand by nearly 40 percent over last year’s level.
In 2013, cereal output was estimated at about 1.4 million tonnes, 8 percent lower than the previous year’s good crop. This level of production was similar to the average of the previous five years.
Coarse grains prices declined in recent months
Prices of maize, the main staple food, were mostly stable in recent months, and remained significantly lower than a year earlier reflecting adequate supplies as well as generally favourable prospects for the 2014 cropping season across the subregion. The beginning of the 2014 first harvesting season in August has put downward pressure on prices in most markets across the country. Maize prices declined by up to 35 percent between July and September 2014. Prices of imported rice, mainly consumed in urban centres, remained stable across the country, in line with trends in international markets.