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2017 wheat production likely to be below average

  • Key Message Update
  • Afghanistan
  • May 2017
2017 wheat production likely to be below average

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Following widespread precipitation in late January, February, and early March, rainfall during the latter half of the spring has been generally below average, adversely affecting the development of rainfed wheat in some areas, particularly in northern and northeastern provinces. It is likely that aggregate wheat production in 2017 will be below last year and the five-year average, due to the localized dryness and due to increased agricultural lands dedicated to poppy production and other cash crops. However, it is expected that normal imports of wheat flour from Kazakhstan and Pakistan will continue to support market stability.

    • Wheat flour prices remain largely stable compared to the five-year average. In April 2017, wheat flour prices were near the 2012 – 2016 April average in Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, and Nili, and below-average in Hirat (5 percent), and Maimana (13 percent). Wheat flour prices were ~8 percent above-average in Faizabad, Jalalabad, and Kandahar. Stable prices for wheat flour are likely to support typical market access during the summer and autumn months for households who purchase staples with income earned in various agricultural and non-agricultural livelihoods activities.

    • Orchard crops, vegetables, and livestock production conditions are all reported to be generally normal for this time of year. Seasonal improvements are expected over the next several months, and harvests of orchard crops are likely to be above last year. These harvests are likely to provide income for the farmers as well as poor households who are employed in collecting and marketing these fruits to domestic and neighboring country markets. 

    • Both physical and economic access to food has increased seasonally in late spring. These seasonal improvements are likely to be further supported by increasing income associated with a poppy harvest that is well-above last year, as well as an improved orchard crops harvest. Below-average national wheat production will increase the demand for wheat and wheat flour imports, which will increase the impact of international markets on domestic staple food prices.

    • Poor households whose livelihoods have been impacted by conflict, and rainfed production areas affected by localized dryness are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) prior to wheat and orchard crop harvests. Furthermore, many of the nearly 650,000 people displaced by conflict in 2017, as well as thousands of undocumented Afghan returnees from Iran and Pakistan, are likely facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in the absence of assistance. Households facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are present throughout the provinces of the country. 

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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