January 23, 2022
  • January 23, 2022

GIEWS country profile: Colombia 15-Jun-2021 – Colombia

By on June 15, 2021 0


• Favorable production prospects for the 2021 paddy and maize crops

• Cereal import requirements in 2021 forecast at high levels

• Rice prices well below the levels of the previous year

• Growing concerns about adequate access to food in urban areas

• High prevalence of food insecurity among

Venezuelan refugees and migrants Favorable production prospects for 2021 rice and maize crops

The 2021 minor paddy harvest is continuing and yields are said to be above average, reflecting favorable weather conditions in the main producing departments of Tolima,
Huila, Meta and Casanare. The area planted in the minor season is officially estimated at an all-time high, as higher year-over-year prices during the planting period (between August and November 2020), coupled with adequate weather conditions, prompted farmers to extend the seedlings.

The 2021 main paddy crop has recently been planted and will be harvested from July. Plantings have likely declined as large supplies from the record 2020 crop lowered prices in the first quarter of 2021. However, the yield outlook is generally favorable as weather forecasts indicate average precipitation and temperatures in the main areas. cultivation areas during the period July-August 2021.. Total paddy production in 2021 is provisionally estimated at 2.86 million tonnes, about 5 percent above the previous five-year average.

The 2021 main season maize crop is currently in the flowering and kernel-filling stages. According to satellite imagery, growing conditions are generally good in the main coastal producing areas (ASI map).
Total maize production for 2021, including the secondary season crop harvested in the first quarter of 2021, is expected to be slightly above average at 1.5 million tonnes. This represents an annual increase of 5 percent, caused by a rebound in plantings.

The high level of sowing and yields of the 2021 cereal crops also reflects the expansion of government agricultural support programs (Juntos por el Campo), launched in August 2020.
The programs aim to provide subsidized agricultural machinery and inputs to smallholder farmers and improve farmers’ access to credit. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the credit allocation in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 32% compared to the same period in 2020.

Cereal import requirements in 2021 forecast at high levels

About 85 percent of the country’s cereal consumption needs are met through imports. Cereal import requirements for the 2021 marketing year (January / December) are estimated at 8.57 million tonnes, a level similar to the record level of 2020. The high level of requirements expected reflects strong demand for maize by the sector. fodder and wheat for human consumption. In response to the weakening national currency, the import tariff for wheat was reduced to zero in mid-2020 for a period of two years.

Rice prices well below the levels of the previous year

Rice prices have fallen steadily in the first four months of 2021, under pressure from plentiful supplies from record production in 2020 and the above-average 2021 minor season harvest. In May 2021, the downward trend reversed as protests and blockades on major roads across the country disrupted market activities. Despite the monthly increase, prices in May 2021 were about 25% lower than their levels of the previous year, reflecting abundant market supplies.

Prices for yellow corn, mainly imported, increased significantly between March and May 2021, reflecting high international prices and the negative effects of social unrest. In May 2021, yellow corn prices were about 8 percent higher than the same month in 2020. In contrast, prices for domestically produced white corn were lower year over year due to adequate supply of the 2021 minor season crop.

Growing concerns about adequate access to food in urban areas

Official estimates from the Department of Statistics (DANE) indicate that gross domestic product (GDP) declined 6.7% in 2020 due to the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the poverty rate increased by 6.8 percentage points year on year and around 3.6 million people were left in poverty, especially in urban areas, due to job losses and income during the pandemic.

The strengthening of containment measures in April and May 2021, in the midst of a third wave of COVID-19, is likely to further affect economic activities and put additional pressure on already eroded household resources. In addition, a nationwide strike and protests that erupted in late April disrupted trade flows and market activities, with economic losses for the agricultural sector estimated at around COP 1.6 billion (around $ 430 million). Food price spikes have been recorded in some urban markets, notably in Cali, the country’s third largest city, exacerbated by fuel shortages. The negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with ongoing social unrest, raise concerns about adequate access to food, especially for vulnerable urban households.

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