BARBADOS (2 June)
Growing conditions of vegetables and other minor foodcrops are reported normal. Harvesting of the important foreign exchange earner sugar crop has been virtually completed and production is provisionally estimated at a satisfactory 57 000 tonnes, up from 1999 crop, which was disrupted by domestic labour problems.
COSTA RICA (2 June)
Planting of the 2000/01 first season cereal crops continues under normal weather conditions. Average maize plantings are expected. The area planted to paddy is also anticipated to be average, but production will not be enough to meet domestic demand and between 90 000 to 100 000 tonnes of rice will need to be imported in marketing year 2 001 (January/December). Some 300 000 tonnes of maize, mostly yellow, will also be required as imports in 2000/01 marketing year (July/June), similar to the previous year, to meet demand from the animal feed industry.
CUBA (2 June)
Normal to above-normal rains have been reported in May, benefiting developing minor foodcrops, as well as cash crops such as coffee and cocoa. Planting and harvesting of spring (mostly irrigated) and winter (rainfed) paddy respectively, have not been disrupted by the rains, and slightly above-average paddy output is anticipated for this year. About 400 000 tonnes of rice will nevertheless be required as imports in year 2001 (January/December) to meet the domestic demand. Harvesting of the important sugar cane crop has been completed and production is provisionally estimated at some 4 million tonnes, which compares to last year's 3.8 million tonnes. Sugar quality is officially reported to be satisfactory. International food assistance continues to be distributed in the extreme eastern provinces, affected by the previous severe drought.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (2 June)
Harvesting of the 2000/01 first season coarse grain and paddy crops has started under normal weather conditions. The dry spell in the first quarter of the year did not affect crops and average output is anticipated, which represent a recovery from the 1999/2000 season in particular for maize, following the severe impact of hurricane "Georges" at the end of 1998. A two-year protracted relief recovery operation is being implemented to assist affected populations. Food assistance is being provided under this operation.
Wheat imports in 2000/01 marketing year (July/June) are expected to be between 270 000 and 280 000 tonnes, close to the previous year. Maize imports are anticipated to decline from last year's 700 000 tonnes to some 650 000 tonnes. Rice imports in year 2001 (January/December) should be close to this year's imports of some 70 000 tonnes.
EL SALVADOR (2 June)
Planting of the 2000/01 first season cereal and bean crops has started with the arrival of the first rains from mid-April. Above-normal rains have been reported, particularly in southern and central areas. Intended plantings of maize, the main cereal, should be close to last year's average level, while the area planted to sorghum should be slightly higher than the level reached in the previous year. Plantings of beans are also expected to be similar to 1999/2000. A series of measures have been officially adopted for the benefit of the agriculture sector. These include improvements to be made to the inland infrastructure, enlargement of credit facilities to small rural enterprises and the establishment of a watershed rehabilitation programme in the Department of San Miguel in the south-east. Food assistance from the international community is still being distributed as a component of various reconstruction projects (food for work), following hurricane "Mitch" at the end of 1998.
Wheat and maize imports in 2000/01 marketing year (August/July) should remain close to the previous year's levels of 180 000 tonnes and 175 000 tonnes respectively. Rice imports in 2001 (January/December) are expected to be about 20 000 tonnes, similar to the last two years.
GUATEMALA (2 June)
Planting of the 2000/01 first season cereal and bean crops has started with the arrival of the first rains in April. Intended plantings of maize (white) are expected to remain average or slightly above 1999/2000 in response to higher domestic demand. However, the area planted to yellow maize is likely to decline in anticipation of lower priced imports. Intended plantings of sorghum are also expected to decline with respect to last year but should nevertheless remain about average. Food assistance continues to be distributed through reconstruction projects (food for work) following hurricane "Mitch".
Wheat imports in marketing year 2000/01 (November/October) are forecast to be about 380 000 tonnes, similar to the previous year. Maize imports are also anticipated to be about the same level of 550 000 tonnes of the previous year.
HAITI* (2 June)
Harvesting of the 2000/01 first season maize and bean crops has only just started following weeks of dry weather, particularly in the northern parts of the country as well as in the central plains. Harvesting of the important irrigated paddy crop has also started while planting of the rainfed crop has been recently completed. Overall, prospects are uncertain as a consequence of the adverse weather and a decline in production is likely in the most affected areas. Food assistance from the international community continues to be distributed through development projects to some sectors of the population. About 41 000 tonnes have been delivered so far against pledges of 101 000 tonnes.
Wheat imports in marketing year 2000/01 (July/June) are anticipated to be about 285 000 tonnes, similar to 1999/2000. Commercial maize imports in the 2000/01 marketing year (July/June) should be about 75 000 tonnes, slightly above the previous year. Rice imports in year 2001 (January/December) should be similar to this year's level of 170 000 tonnes.
HONDURAS (2 June)
Planting of the 2000/01 first season cereal and bean crops has recently started with the arrival of the rainy season in April. Prospects for the maize crop, the main cereal, have improved with respect to last year and earlier estimates, and intended plantings are anticipated to be about average. The outlook is also better for the paddy crop. The area planted to beans should be similar to satisfactory production in 1999/2000. Food assistance from the international community continues to be distributed to hurricane "Mitch" affected population.
Wheat imports in marketing year 2000/01 (July/June) should increase slightly from last year's 205 000 tonnes to some 210 000 tonnes. Maize imports are expected to decline from the previous year's 250 000 tonnes to some 190 000 tonnes.
JAMAICA (2 June)
Normal rains have recently resumed following a persistent long drought which severely affected the country since October last year. Official figures indicate that some 2 800 hectares of growing foodcrops, such as roots and tubers, plantains, fruits and vegetables have been lost. Between 2 500 and 3 000 rural families have been seriously affected. At the onset of the rainy season, the majority had no seedlings to plant and almost no farm inputs. Emergency rehabilitation projects from the international community to assist the small farmers struck by the drought are being prepared in response to the appeal made by the Government.
MEXICO (2 June)
Harvesting of the 2000 irrigated wheat crop, particularly in the northwest main growing areas, is complete. Production is provisionally estimated at some 3.2 million tonnes, compared to the average of 3.4 million tonnes in the last five years. This reflects adverse weather at sowing and a prolonged dry spell which sharply reduced water reservoirs and thus contributed to below-normal plantings. The drought continues to prevail in the northern areas, although normal to above-normal rains have been reported in the north and south-eastern parts. Despite 14 states officially declared as disaster areas, and forest fires reported in some of these states, official reports indicate no substantial damage to crops and livestock. The recent rains restored soil moisture, principally in the large maize producing southern belt areas, where planting of the important spring/summer crop is underway. Sorghum production this year is also expected to be average to slightly above average, as the important spring/summer crop grown in the large producing central state of Guanajato was not affected by the drought and the recent above-normal rains in the state of Tamaulipas, the other main sorghum producing state, have helped restore moisture to the soil for planting of the next fall/winter crop.
NICARAGUA (2 June)
Planting of the 2000/01 first season cereal and bean crops has started with the arrival of the rainy season in April/May. The area planted to maize, the main cereal, is expected to be close to average. Intended plantings of sorghum are also anticipated to be about average, while paddy area is expected to increase compared to last year. The area planted to the important beans crop should be about average. Food assistance continues to be provided to hurricane "Mitch" affected population.
Wheat imports in marketing year 2000/01 (July/June) are forecast to be about 100 000 tonnes, similar to the previous year, while maize imports are anticipated to slightly increase from some 30 000 tonnes to about 35 000 tonnes.