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GIEWS Country Brief: The Republic of the Congo 22-January-2018

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  • Overall favourable weather conditions benefited crops in 2017

  • Inflation rates forecast to further decrease in 2018

  • Refugees from Central African Republic estimated at 50 000 as of end-October 2017

Cereal harvests in 2017 estimated at near-average level

Harvesting of the 2017 main maize crop will be completed in end-January, while harvesting of cassava, the principal staple in the country, is underway and will be completed at the end of March. According to satellite-based information, vegetation conditions during the cropping season were generally favourable due to adequate rainfall in most regions.

Preliminary estimates for the 2017 harvest point to an average level of production. The country does not produce a significant amount of cereals with imports covering approximately 94 percent of the total cereal utilization requirements, mainly through commercial channels. In the 2018 marketing year (January/December), the volume of commercially-imported cereals, mainly wheat and rice, is forecast at about 310 000 tonnes, similar to the previous year.

Inflation rates forecast to further decrease in 2018 due to declining global food prices

According to the International Monetary Fund, the average inflation rate, dropped from +3.6 percent in 2016 to ‑0.4 percent in 2017 due to the decline of global food prices and a less accommodative monetary policy. In 2018, the average inflation rate is forecast to further decrease to ‑1.1 percent.

About 50 000 refugees from Central African Republic estimated to be living in country

According to UNHCR, the country hosts about 50 000 refugees from the Central African Republic. Most of the refugees are located in Likouala Province, in particular in two sites close to the Central African Republic border along the Ubangi River (Bétou and Impfondo). Their food security is essentially supported by continued humanitarian assistance.

Moreover, according to the Government of the Republic of Congo, about 81 000 people have been displaced in the Pool and Bouenza Department (South of the country) following the armed conflict escalation in these departments. This situation has undermined agriculture, hindered market access and disrupted local livelihoods in the region.

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.