Prospects for global cereal production in 2016 continued to improve in recent months with significant upward revisions for maize and wheat, reflecting particularly favourable weather conditions in some of the large producing countries.
COUNTRIES IN NEED OF EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE: FAO estimates that 36 countries, including 28 in Africa, are in need of external assistance for food. Persisting conflicts and drought induced production declines are the main causes that have stressed food security in 2016.
AFRICA: Despite expected cereal production increases in East and West Africa, drought-reduced harvests in North and Southern Africa are forecast to pull down the aggregate 2016 cereal output to a below-average level. The impact of the El Niño-induced drought resulted in a significant increase in food insecurity in Southern Africa. Persisting conflicts, notably in Nigeria and in South Sudan, continue to severely impair agricultural production and food security in affected countries.
ASIA: In the Far East, cereal production is forecast to rebound strongly in 2016, after a reduced output in 2015 due to dry weather. Similarly, the output of the Asian CIS subregion is anticipated to increase, benefitting from improved weather conditions, while 2016 production in the Near East is forecast to fall from the bumper level of 2015. Several countries in the Near East continue to be affected by the negative impact of conflicts on agricultural production, livelihoods and food security.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN: Despite a record maize crop forecast in Argentina in 2016, drought-reduced outputs in Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay have resulted in a large year-on-year decrease for the aggregate South American cereal output. Moderate production recoveries from last year’s drought reduced outputs are expected in most Central American countries, while Mexico is anticipated to harvest a bumper cereal crop in 2016.