Food insecurity affects 20 percent of the rural population of Guinea-Bissau, according to the Food and Nutrition Security Monitoring System (SiSSAN) survey. The results of the survey were announced last week and point to an improvement over 2016, when 30.6 percent of the rural population were food insecure.
The main reason for this improvement in food security in 2017 is the high price of cashew nuts, one of the main agricultural products in the country. However, The SiSSAN points out that this improvement may not be permanent, since the price of the nut can continue to fluctuate. Another situation that can affect the food security of rural families in the country is the flooding of rice crops in 53 communities.
Rice plantations were flooded from July to September 2017 in communities of Bafatá, Gabu and Oio. It is estimated that 38,000 metric tons of the product were lost, which is equivalent to 87 percent of the production of the region affected, and 23 percent of the rice production in the country. The flooded areas must be rehabilitated urgently, so that the production of the grain can be resumed.
SiSSAN’s research conducted interviews with 3,900 families in rural areas of the eight regions of Guinea-Bissau. The results for 2017 refer to the month of October, and those for 2016 refer to the month of September.
Preliminary results indicate that only 4.7 percent of children aged 6-23 months received a minimum adequate diet throughout the country. Of the children served by the World Food Programme, 10 percent received adequate diet. The prevalence of chronic malnutrition is higher among children receiving an inadequate diet.
The event to present the results of SiSSAN was attended by representatives of the Government of Guinea-Bissau, the Civil Society Network for Food Sovereignty and Nutrition Security, the World Food Programme, and the Food and Agriculture Organization. Guinea-Bissau is one of the priority countries for Brazilian South-South cooperation and the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger.