The global food production is “booming”, driven by strong cereal harvests, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.

However, 37 countries, 29 of which in Africa, need external food assistance, as pointed out in the the new edition of the FAO‘s Crop Prospects and Food Situation report.

FAO’s forecasts for global cereal production in 2017 now stands at 2 627 million tonnes – 0.6 percent higher than 2016 – and cereal stocks are surpassing last year’s record, but the world’s food production is concentrated in specific geographical areas.

“The increase from November is mostly driven by higher estimates for maize production in the United States of America, following positive revisions for yields, and in Indonesia, where production is now estimated at a record high as a result of a significant expansion in plantings”, FAO said.

At the same time, localised drought, flooding and protracted conflicts are exacerbating the fragile conditions of some countries and intensifying food insecurity. Conflicts are hampering “both access to food and its availability” by impeding productive activities

The 37 countries currently in need of external food assistance are Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and ZimbabwePhoto Credits: AMISOM

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