According to the FAO, the world’s wheat production for 2011 is forecasted to increase by a margin of 3.4% from 653.7 million tonnes to 676 million tonnes.
The FAO’s quarterly report on the world’s food situation March 2011 edition titled “Crop Prospects and Food Situation (CPFS) Report”, says this level would still be below the bumper harvests in 2008 and 2009.
It says Ghana’s total cereal production in 2009/2010 and contribution to the West Africa cereal production of 11.6% was 3.8%. Cereal production in West Africa was 58.5 million tonnes with Ghana contributing 2.7 million tonnes to the figure. Nigeria was the highest contributor with 26.8 million tonnes at 4.3%
In last year’s production, the FAO report indicates that in the “Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs) as a group, the 2010 cereal output rose by 5.6 percent, a development that will result in reduced cereal imports in the 2010/11 marketing years” but the organization, however, said the cereal import bill in poor food-deficit countries keep rising due to higher international prices.
“But this will not necessarily spell much relief for these countries as their overall cereal import bill is estimated to increase by 20 percent because of higher international prices”, theFAO says adding “Food deficit countries importing less, paying more.”
The CPFS report notes that Ghana’s cereal importation position requirement for 2011 is 780,000 tonnes excluding re-exports. This importation is not for commercial purchases, the CPFS indicates based on information it had as of early February 2011.
Food assistance is required in 29 countries, of these, 21 countries are in Africa and seven in Asia.
“The displacement of large numbers of people in North Africa because of recent political events in that region also has made emergency assistance necessary”, the FAO said.
By Ekow Quandzie