SIERRA LEONE* (9 February)
Harvesting of the 2004 paddy crop is complete. Output is expected to further increase this year, reflecting an improved security situation, increased plantings following the return of refugees and farmers previously displaced, as well as improved availabilities of agricultural inputs.
The security situation in the country remains calm. The repatriation of Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea was completed in late July. About 12 170 people have been repatriated in 2004, bringing the number of refugees repatriated since the beginning of the operation in October 2001 to about 56 000. An estimated 1 million internally displaced people have also been resettled. However, 65 000 Liberian refugees are still living in the country.
Imports of cereals in 2005 are forecast at about 288 000 tonnes, including 35 000 tonnes of food aid.