EL SALVADOR (9 February)
Under normal dry conditions, harvesting of 2004 second season coarse grain, paddy and bean crops has been recently completed. Despite some minor losses due to the prolonged dry period (canicula) that affected first season crops in eastern departments of Usulutan, La Union and San Miguel in June, aggregate (first and second season crops) 2004 maize output is expected to be record at almost 650 000 tonnes. Paddy crop production for 2004 is estimated at 26 000 tonnes, showing some recovery from the very poor harvest of 22 000 tonnes obtained in previous campaign but still below the last five years’ average of 38 000 tonnes.
Import requirements for marketing year 2004/05 are forecast at 300 000 tonnes of maize, 200 000 of wheat and about 60 000 tonnes of rice. Food and non-food assistance continues to be delivered by the international community, targeting vulnerable groups such as children under five and expectant and nursing mothers.