Rice production in Guinea-Bissau is expected to fall 36 percent in the 2014/15 agricultural season, said Sunday in Bissau Rui Fonseca, of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Fonseca also told Portuguese news agency Lusa that the decrease was due to “late arrival of the rains, with poor distribution both geographically and over time.”
In a season with good results, local production usually covers “four to five months” of rice consumption in the country, but this season will not cover more than three months of demand, he said.
“Guinea-Bissau will have a deficit of 46,000 tons of rice, which should be complemented through funds that the government may potentially make use of,” added Fonseca.
Fonseca said it was necessary to start thinking about measures to support the next agricultural year because the current drop in production would lead to early consumption of seeds that should be planted, and leave farmers without food or income.
The FAO assesses the agricultural season in Guinea-Bissau every year together with the World Food Programme (WFP), the Guinean government and the Permanent Inter-state Commission for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).
Under normal conditions Guinea-Bissau produces about 111,000 tons of rice and imports about 150,000 tons, costing US$75 million. (macauhub/GW)