KENYA* (11 February)
Prospects for the 2004/05 secondary "short rains" cereal crop, being harvested, are poor due to inadequate rainfall. This crop provides the main source of food in parts of Central and Eastern provinces and accounts for some 15 percent of total annual production. The output of the 2004 main "long rains" maize crop estimated at about 1.7 million tonnes and harvested from August was well below average. Overall, total cereal production in 2004/05 is estimated at about 2.5 million tonnes, about 13 percent below the average of the previous five years.
Maize prices dipped slightly from December 2004 but are generally much higher than the average for the same period. In December, maize prices were 30 to 60 percent higher compared with the average in most major markets.
Despite improved pasture conditions in most pastoral districts, particularly in the north-east, conditions have remained poor in some pastoral areas that received inadequate rainfall, including western Marsabit, the lowlands of Baringo, Western Mandera, north-eastern Turkana and most of Kajiado District. The impact of earlier successive poor seasons has also left large numbers of households highly vulnerable and unable to cope with continued losses of livestock and livelihood options.