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GIEWS Country Brief: Cabo Verde 19-March-2019

Cabo Verde
Publication date


  • Average production gathered in 2018

  • Average cereal import requirement forecast in 2019

  • Prices of coarse grains stable, but higher than previous year

  • Food assistance to be maintained for vulnerable households

Recovery of maize production following failed 2017 harvest

The planting of the 2019 cereal crops will start in July with the arrival of the seasonal rains, for harvesting from October.

The 2018 agricultural season was characterized by a late onset of rains in most parts of the country and attacks by Fall Armyworm on maize crops, the only economically significant cereal grown in the country. Maize plants were often attacked just after germination, resulting in significant losses of seedlings.

The 2018 national cereal production was estimated at about 4 000 tonnes, similar to the average of the previous five years. In 2017, maize output was negligible due to drought.

The current pastoral situation reflects the seasonal availability of forage resources, consisting partly of natural pastures. The animal health situation is generally stable, with no major seasonal disease outbreaks.

Average cereal import requirements

Arable land covers only about 10 percent of the total area and the country is highly dependent on cereal imports. Around 85 percent of the domestic cereal demand (mostly rice and wheat for human consumption) is covered by imports. The cereal import requirements for 2019 are forecast at 81 600 tonnes, similar to the average of the previous five years.

Prices of coarse grains stable, but higher than previous year

The food supply, supported by commercial imports, is steady and stable at the national level. Cereal prices in January 2019 (last information available) remained generally stable compared to the previous month. However, prices were generally below their yearearlier levels because of the improvement in the supply.

Continued assistance needed for vulnerable people

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the country’s real GDP is expected to grow in 2019 by about 4 percent, similar to the previous year, supported by relatively solid tourism, strong foreign direct investment from Europe and growing domestic demand. The food inflation is expected to remain low and stable, averaging 1.2 percent in 2019, driven by steady international commodity prices.

The food situation remains stable and favourable across the country. According to the November 2018 “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 11 000 people (out of 0.5 million) are estimated to be in need of food assistance up to August 2019, with a substantial decrease from the 21 000 food insecure in March-May 2018.

Moreover, according to the latest analysis of the 2018 National Food Vulnerability Survey (interim data), chronic malnutrition was estimated at approximately 11 percent, while acute malnutrition was 5 percent and the risk of obesity 12 percent.

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