CAPE VERDE (8 February)
Due to a late start of the rainy season which delayed plantings and subsequent erratic precipitation combined with desert locust infestations, the growing conditions for the maize crop, the only cereal grown, have been poor in most islands in 2004. An FAO/CILSS mission estimated the output of the maize crop at some 4 042 tonnes mostly produced on Santiago Island (over 50 percent). This level of production is only one third of last year’s output and similar to the poor crops of 1997 and 1998. Production of beans and potatoes will also be below normal. Although the country imports the bulk of its consumption requirement even in good years, the rural population particularly in the semi-arid zones could be severely affected by the production shortfall.
Total imports of cereal in the marketing year ending in October 2005 are forecast to be around 100 000 tonnes. Taking into account an anticipated commercial cereal import of 41 500 tonnes and 28 000 tonnes of food aid pledges, the total uncovered deficit for the year is about 31 000 tonnes.