BHUTAN - Harvesting of the 2014 monsoon season crops, millet, rice and maize, is currently underway and will continue until December. FAO forecasts the 2014 rice and maize outputs at 80,000 and 83,000 tonnes, respectively, slightly above last year’s good level.
The increase is the result of a small expansion in the area planted and good yields following generally favourable weather conditions during the cropping season.
Similarly, the 2014 outputs of the minor winter season crops, wheat and barley, harvested earlier in the year, are estimated slightly higher than in 2013 mainly due to improved yields following favourable weather conditions during the growing season.
Cereal imports in 2014/15 (July/June) marketing year forecast to remain firm
Despite the anticipated slight increase in 2014 cereal production, total cereal imports in the 2014/15 (July/June) marketing year are anticipated at 77,800 tonnes, around the previous year’s above-average level, mainly due to increasing demand from growing population. Imports consist mainly of rice and wheat, which are forecast at 70,000 and 6,000 tonnes, respectively.
Food insecurity persists in rural areas
Food insecurity persists predominantly in rural areas with higher concentrations in the eastern and southern parts of the country. UNHCR indicates that, as of January 2014, some 32,000 Bhutanese citizens of Nepalese origin are still living in refugee camps in eastern Nepal.
Nearly 85,000 refugees have been resettled in third countries, following the major resettlement programme launched in November 2007. UNHCR is expected to facilitate the resettlement of some 7,000 people in 2014.
According to the latest estimates from the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation, the under-five mortality rate decreased from 134 per 1,000 in 1990 to 36 per 1,000 in 2013.
TheCropSite News Desk