Saturday, November 3, 2012

NEPAL: Proejcted agriculture production in FY 2012/13

The shortage of fertilizers and low and late monsoon during peak paddy planting season are expected to lower economic growth rate (unless industrial and services sector pick up rapidly, which seems negative as of now). So, how much is the expected decline in agriculture production in 2012/13?

Prabhakar Ghimire reports (his blog here) that the Ministry of Agriculture and Development estimates food production to decline by 563,000 MT.
  • Paddy production to fall by 14.2%. Total paddy output is expected to drop by 720,000 tons this year compared to 5.07 million tons recorded last year. Plantation was done in just 91% of total paddy land. Dhanusha and Siraha, key paddy producing districts, reported plantation in just 49 percent and 50 percent of paddy land
  • Maize production to fall by 10%. Total maize production is expected to drop by around 164,000 tons.
  • Demand for cereals could rise by 100,000 tons to 5.3 million tons this year.
  • At least 27 districts will face food deficit this year.
About 76.3% of households in Nepal depends on agriculture for livelihood and 83% of the population lives in rural areas. Paddy contributes around 21% to agriculture production, which then account for about 35% of GDP. Paddy and maize are the major cereals consumed by a majority of households.

Meanwhile, global food prices is increasing. According to the latest Food Price Watch, global food prices increased 10% between June and July 2012 with staples such as wheat increasing 25% in the period. The high global food and fuel prices gets reflected in domestic prices as almost half of the total food demand is fulfilled by imports. It tends to affect poor and vulnerable the most, while pushing back people just above the poverty line back under it. 

A study (Global Food Price Inflation and Developing Asia) by ADB showed that a 10% increase in food prices will increase the number of poor people (in millions) living below US$1.25-a-day by 3.8, 0.01, 22.8, 6.7, 0.6, 3.5, and 0.2 in Bangladesh, Bhutan, rural India, urban India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, respectively. More here (and also this one on targeted food subsidies).