Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, has raised concerns over threats to food security by ongoing conflicts and climate-related shocks in spite of bumper harvests in Latin America and favourable agricultural conditions in Southern Africa.
In a new edition of FAO’s Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, the world food body highlighted hurricanes in the Caribbean and floods in West Africa, as possible drawbacks to food production, even though expected record cereal harvests in many countries have made broader food production trends positive.
The quarterly report lists 37 countries, 28 of them in Africa as needing food aid.
Data from the 37 countries – Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe – are unchanged from June.
The report shows that conflicts in Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, northern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, pose a threat to production and food security with attendant ripple effects, due to displaced persons and increased civil insecurity. It also noted that weather shocks in 2017, including droughts, have compounded the impacts in some countries, notably Somalia and southern Ethiopia.
Forecast has put global cereal production for 2017 at 2611 million tones, a new record.
Meanwhile, Argentina and Brazil recorded huge outputs. In Africa, output is expected to rise by more than 10 percent this year accounted for by increasing maize harvests in Southern Africa, and wheat output in countries North of Africa.
Aggregate cereal production in Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs) is also expected to rise by 2.2 percent this year, curbing import needs, according to FAO’s new estimates.