FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
• Above-average cereal production forecast in 2021
• Total cereal exports in 2021/22 forecast above average
• Effects of drought and COVID-19 pandemic severely affected economy
Above-average cereal production forecast in 2021
Harvesting of the 2021 winter cereal crops, mainly wheat, is ongoing, while planting of maize (a spring crop), to be harvested from October, took place in May. Planting of other spring cereals, mainly barley, finished in June and the harvest is expected to take place in August and September.
The 2021 wheat output is forecast at about 1.2 million tonnes, well above the previous year’s level and 5 percent above the five-year average, as favourable weather conditions during the season are expected to boost yields compared to the 2020 drought-reduced levels. Similarly, the 2021 output of maize, is preliminarily forecast at about 2 million tonnes, well above the 2020 production and the average level.
The total 2021 cereal output is projected at about 3.4 million tonnes, 15 percent above the average.
Total cereal exports in 2021/22 forecast above average
Total cereal exports in the 2021/22 marketing year (July/June) are tentatively forecast at about 1.2 million tonnes, well above the five-year average volume.
Due to the expectation of large harvests in 2021, wheat and maize exports are forecast at 500 000 and 600 000 tonnes, respectively, well above the average volumes.
Effects of 2020 drought and COVID-19 pandemic severely affected economy
The very low cereal output obtained in 2020 coupled with the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in losses of jobs, incomes and remittances, severely affected the economy, particularly the sectors of trade, agriculture and tourism. It is estimated that the Gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 8 percent in 2020.