The rice harvest is reaching its completion, and the forecast for a good production this year remains for all crops. As a result of the joint CILSS-FAO-WFP-Government preliminary harvest assessment for the 2011/12 cropping season, the country will record an excess of rice (173,266 MT) after accounting for production, initial stocks, importation, and annual per capita rice consumption (104kg/person/year). Cassava planting has begun in a few areas, but will increase in December and January. The cassava harvest is expected to be in June, coinciding with the beginning of the hunger season.
The commercialization of the new local rice has begun, leading to lower rice prices from September (3600-5000LE/kg) to November (3500-4000LE/kg). Imported rice remains stable (4000LE/kg). The Bombali district, which had the highest local milled rice price in September (5000LE/kg), has decrease in the first week of November 4000LE/kg. The price of fuel remains stable in Freetown and major district towns (4500LE/liter), but higher in the remote areas (5000-5500LE/liter), impacting commodity prices. Palm oil prices have remained stable since September, with prices varying from 5500LE in Kambia to 6700LE in Koinadugu.
Household food security is continuing to improve due to the good rice harvest. Household food stocks are improving, and income from other field products, like cassava, palm oil, tobacco, are also increasing.
The demand for local parboiled rice in the neighboring Guinea country will attract part of the paddy production from Sierra Leone to be processed there. It is more likely that the flows of local rice will be above-normal, but not to the degree that food availability will be threatened.