FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Production of sugarcane, the country’s main cash crop, declined in first half of 2011
Food inflation increases in 2011
Sugarcane production falls in first half of 2011
Sugarcane, the main cash crop in the country, is grown on about 90 percent of the cultivated land area accounting for approximately 25 percent of the country’s export earnings. In the first half of 2011 (January-June), sugarcane production, estimated at about 262 000 tonnes, fell by just under 30 percent compared with 2010. The drop follows both a contraction in the area planted and a fall in yields.
Food crop production however, was marginally higher, despite smaller plantings, benefiting from an increase in yields. Total food production is estimated at approximately 42 000 tonnes.
Commercial imports of cereals are estimated at 325 000 tonnes and account for virtually all of the country’s requirements.
Higher food prices during 2011
The year-on-year inflation rate for the food (and non-alcoholic beverages) was up by about 4 percent in December 2011. The higher rate was driven by rising prices of meat and dairy products.