Chad is a land-locked, low-income, food-deficit country, ranked163th out of 169 countries in the 2010 UNDP Human Development Index (WFP). It ranks among the poorest nations in the world, with 55 percent of its 11.2 million citizens living below the poverty line and 36 percent living in extreme poverty (World Bank).

A substantial majority of the country’s population (80 percent) is dependent on subsistence farming and herding. Agricultural production, and thus food security, is regularly hampered by erratic rains, cyclical droughts, and pest infestations, as well as poor farming practices. Additionally, government-set price ceilings for cereals, animals, and transportation work to impede effective market functioning (FEWS NET). The Sahelian Zone (central and eastern Chad) is particularly hard hit by chronic food insecurity (WFP). While 2010-11 saw record cereal production, recorded at 85 percent above the country’s five-year average, current grain inventories are down to less than half their usual level due to the reluctance of traders to engage in trading activities (FEWS NET). A ban on imports from Libya and a disruption in oil supplies from that country have further driven up transportation costs and limited the availability of foodstuffs such as sugar, flour, and food pastes (FEWS NET).

In its 50 years of independence, Chad has experienced ethnic tension and political and economic instability that has exacerbated poverty and food insecurity within the country. Internal displacement, as well as surging refugee populations from nearby Sudan and the Central African Republic, has contributed to continuing food insecurity. Due to its economic instability and low agricultural productivity, Chad remains heavily dependent on external assistance to combat its chronic food shortages.

Agricultural Production
Agricultural Production2011201220132014
Rice Production
FAO 2014
172,687 MT177,744 MT378,426 MT304,112 MT
Wheat Production
FAO 2012
1,723 MT8,750 MT1,757 MT809.00 MT
Maize Production
FAO 2012
299,472 MT455,965 MT417,986 MT332,889 MT
Agricultural Exports
Agricultural Exports2010201120122013
Rice Exports
FAO 2013
0.00 MT0.00 MT0.00 MT0.00 MT
Agricultural Imports
Agricultural Imports2010201120122013
Rice Imports
FAO 2013
10,936 MT1,012 MT7,850 MT1,016 MT
Wheat Imports
FAO 2012
25,928 MT29,598 MT32,800 MT30,000 MT
Maize Imports
FAO 2010
12,590 MT11,500 MT17,812 MT17,791 MT