FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
• Drier-than-average weather conditions affected soil moisture for 2021 winter cereals
• Cereal production in 2020 estimated at near-average level
• Above-average wheat imports forecast in 2020/21 marketing year
Drier-than-average weather conditions affected soil moisture for 2021 winter cereals
Planting of the 2021 winter cereals, mainly wheat, to be harvested from June, finalized last November. Poor cumulative precipitation amounts (about 50 percent less than the long-term average) and warmer-than-average temperatures between October 2020 and January 2021 affected soil moisture in most crop lands. In February, precipitations improved but vegetation conditions were still below the average levels in most crop lands in early March (see ASI and VHI maps). Farmers recently started to irrigate crop lands (about 80 percent of the country’s cultivated land is irrigated) and to apply fertilizers in order to support crops’ growth and development. Winter cereals are currently germinating and adequate amounts of rainfall and irrigation water in the coming months are crucial to determine the 2021 winter cereals output level.
Cereal production in 2020 estimated at near-average level
Harvesting of the 2020 cereals finalized last September and the aggregate output is estimated at about 7.3 million tonnes, close to the five-year average. Production of wheat in 2020 is officially set at about 6 million tonnes, 5 percent below the average level due to slightly below-average plantings. By contrast, the output of maize is officially set at 447 000 tonnes, slightly above the average value following favourable weather conditions during the season which positively affected yields. Production of cereals NES is estimated at a near-average level of 400 000 tonnes.