BOTSWANA (10 February)
Satellite imagery analysis (NDVI) suggests less than normal growth of the main season crops/vegetation throughout most parts of the country, except in the east where above average precipitation has been recorded. According to a Ministry of Agriculture statement, cereal plantings (mainly sorghum) are substantially reduced this year due to the erratic and insufficient rainfall. However, domestic cereal production in Botswana typically amounts to 5-10 percent of the country’s total needs. The 2004 cereal production, mainly sorghum, was estimated to recover from the previous year’s drought affected harvest to a more normal level of about 19 000 tonnes. Botswana's cattle industry has been battered by two successive outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease that resulted in destruction of over 16 000 animals during 2002 and 2003 and loss of access to the European markets.