GLOBAL INFORMATION AND EARLY WARNING SYSTEM ON FOOD AND AGRICULTURE 
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME 

SPECIAL REPORT: CROP AND FOOD SUPPLY SITUATION IN BURUNDI

10 August 1998

 

 


1. OVERVIEW


An FAO Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission visited Burundi from 3 to 17 July 1998 to review production for the season B foodcrops, analyse the prospects for the "marshland" season and update the estimates of national cereal import and food aid requirements for 1998.

Mission members held consultations with relevant Government officials at the national and provincial level and with representatives of UN Agencies and NGOs. Field visits were undertaken in 14 of the country’s 15 provinces where security conditions permitted. Prior to the Mission’s arrival, a preliminary survey had been undertaken in June in all provinces by two FAO national consultants. The results of this pre-evaluation formed the basis of the Mission’s assessment of the food situation. The Mission received assistance from UNICEF and WFP.

The 1998 B crop season was characterized by a relatively calm security situation except in the western and southern provinces. This improved security has allowed some of the population in re-groupment camps to return to their hillside homes. Thus, the number of people living in camps has decreased by 20 percent in 1997 B crop season compared to the previous season, representing 8.5 percent of total population of 6.29 million in mid-1998. Those who remained in camps have benefited from improved access to land owing to the location of new sites close to their original property. As a consequence, cultivated land has increased.

Rainfall in 1998 B season was adequate and well-distributed, except in localized areas in the northern and eastern parts of the country. Crop growth and development were normal, but yields were constrained by poor seed quality and lack of fertilizers. The 1998 B season food production is estimated at about 1.8 million tonnes, representing a 4 percent increase over last year’s B season. Cereals suffered a 1 percent decline, while pulses, roots and tubers, and bananas rose, respectively by 7 percent, 5 percent and 4 percent.

Prospects are promising for the small 1998 C crop season from July to September, mainly due to the improved availability of fertilizers, which arrived late for the B crop season. The Mission forecasts the 1998 C season harvest around the average for the 1988-93 pre-crisis levels. This is well above 1997 C season food production, which was substantially reduced by floods at harvest time.

Total foodcrop output in 1998 is forecast at 3.68 million tonnes, 15 percent higher than the 1997 harvest and about the same as in the pre-crisis period. However, per caput supplies in 1998 are significantly below the pre-crisis level. Food import requirements in 1998 are estimated at 42 000 tonnes of cereals and 69 000 tonnes of pulses. With commercial imports of cereals and pulses anticipated at 6 000 tonnes and 44 000 tonnes respectively, this would leave a food aid requirement of 36 000 tonnes of cereals and 25 000 tonnes of pulses.

With the satisfactory harvest this season, the food supply situation is expected to improve, but will remain precarious, especially for the poorer segments of the population. Malnutrition is still widespread in some parts of the country.


2. SECURITY CONDITIONS AND POPULATION MOVEMENTS.


Recent estimates by the Population Planning Unit put the mid-1998 population at 6 286 000.

Stabilization of security conditions in most parts of the country during the 1998 B season has allowed the authorities to dismantle all regroupment camps in Karuzi, Kayanga and Muramvya provinces. The number of people living in camps decreased from 665 000 in 1997 B crop season to 533 000 persons in 1998 B crop season (Table 1). Most of this reduction in camp population occurred prior to the beginning of the 1998 B season. Although, those returning to their original property had full access to their land, they experienced difficulties owing to damaged infrastructure and lack of agricultural inputs and tools, which hampered their full participation in agricultural production activities.

Displaced persons still living in camps during the 1998 B crop season either had access to their own land, as they were transferred to new sites closer to their propriety or were able to cultivate land plots distributed by the local authorities. These plots were, nonetheless, of a limited size and their production alone would be inadequate to meet the needs of the camp population through the next harvest. In Bubanza province, population transfer to new sites closer to their homes has prevented residents from harvesting what they planted around the old site. Notwithstanding a noticeable improvement in security conditions, the situation was still tense in parts of Makamba, Bururi, Bubanza, Bujumbura Rural and Cibitoké provinces. Some areas of Bujumbura Rural have been the worst affected by outbreaks of violence, since January. The insecurity has hindered agricultural activities in the communes of Mubimbi, Isale, Mutimbuzi and Muhuta.

Table 1. Burundi: Estimated number of people living in camps, 30 June 1998 1/

Province Population of
the
Province
Number
of sites
Total population
in the
sites
Percent of
total
population
Bubanza 278 516 53 159 671 57.3
Bujumbura Rural 425 717 43 83 327 19.6
Bururi 428 247 21 86 426 20.2
Cankuzo 167 457 0 0 0
Cibitoké 369 104 7 25 523 6.9
Gitega 616 376 18 25 617 4.2
Karuzi 344 912 9 17 371 5.0
Kayanza 470 970 17 29 727 6.3
Kirundo 485 648 11 27 852 5.7
Makamba 337 680 - - -
Muramvya 473 397 17 16 800 3.5
Muyinga 467 516 25 38 582 8.3
Ngozi 581 842 11 20 048 3.4
Rutana 236 905 8 1 425 0.6
Ruyigi 293 933 7 777 0.3
Bujumbura Mairie 307 852 - - -
TOTAL 6 286 072 247 533 146 8.5


1/ The number of people living in camps changes on a regular basis depending upon security conditions. Hence, the reported data depends on monitoring and updating at each site by local authorities.

The refugee population in camps in neighbouring countries at the end of May 1998 was estimated by UNHCR at about 300 000 (i.e. 30 000 in DRC, 264 000 in Tanzania, 5 000 in Rwanda and the rest in Kenya, Congo Brazzaville and Zambia). Voluntary repatriation has been slow and limited during 1998 B crop season. UNHCR registered 4 470 returnees from January to May 1998; about 64 percent of these were from Ruyigi province. An additional 200 000 old caseload Burundians live outside camps in Tanzania and are not expected to repatriate due to local integration.


3. FOOD PRODUCTION IN 1998



3.1 1998 A season production

Foodcrop production in 1998 A season is estimated at 1.142 million tonnes, 2 percent below the level of the same season in 1997 and 20 percent lower than the pre-crisis level. The decline in production was mainly due to adverse weather conditions. Heavy rains and floods adversely affected crops and outputs of pulses and cereals fell by 16 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

3.2 1998 B season production

3.2.1 Planted areas

Security conditions were stable in most parts of the country. This has permitted displaced people and repatriated refugees to return to their homes, and has facilitated access to land to those still living in camps. Hence, cultivated land in 1998 B season increased by 5 percent from the level of a year ago. This increase would have been higher, had there not been shortages of improved seeds. There was a general shortage of Irish potato seed in the country and assistance provided by humanitarian organizations covered only one third of the needs of vulnerable groups.

Cultivated land has almost doubled in Bubanza province following improved security conditions. By contrast, cropped areas have declined in Bujumbura Rural and Bururi provinces affected by continued clashes between armed groups and the army. Planted areas under sweet potato and cassava increased substantially as a result of the priority given to these crops by the agricultural extension service. However, area sown to rice was reduced due to flooding of some areas and inadequate supply of irrigation water in the Imbo zone (SRDI and Randa in Bubanza province) at planting time.

3.2.2 Yields

Yields are generally comparable to the levels of the good 1997 B season harvest. This is due to sufficient and well distributed rains throughout the country which compensated for a reduction in the use of fertilizers, and shortages and poor quality of seeds. Against an estimated requirement of 2 000 tonnes for fertilizers, only 1 000 tonnes were imported in time for the season due to logistics problems in Tanzania. Following a decline in production in the 1997 C and 1998 A seasons, farmers did not keep adequate quantities of seeds for this season. Moreover, the high humidity levels following heavy rains in late 1997 negatively affected the quality of the seeds stored.

3.2.3 Production

Food production from the 1998 B season is estimated at 1.85 million tonnes, 4 percent above the same season level in 1997. Cereal output declined by 1 percent, pulses output showed a 7 percent increase, while roots and tubers, and banana production increased by 5 percent and 4 percent respectively (Table 2).

3.3 Prospects for the 1998 C season

The 1998 C season got off to a good start, with land preparation and early seeding well underway in most areas at the time of the Mission’s visit. Some 1 000 tonnes of fertilizers intended for the earlier 1998 B season arrived late and will be available for Season C. In addition humanitarian organizations have provided 360 kg of bean seeds, 1 000 kg of vegetable seeds, 168 tonnes of DAP fertilizers and 35 000 hoes. The Mission forecasts a 1998 C season output of 690 000 tonnes, well above the 1997 C season poor flood-affected output.

3.4 Total foodcrop production in 1998

The aggregate foodcrop output in 1998 (A, B, and C seasons) is forecast at 3.68 million tonnes (Table 3). This represents a 15 percent increase over the 1997 production, and close to the average for the pre-civil strife level. This improved performance is mainly due to an increased production of roots and tubers. By contrast, cereals and pulses production were below normal.

3.5 Livestock

Livestock census carried out in 1997 indicates a herd population of 311 000 animals as compared to 459 000 in 1992. This represents a 32 percent reduction due to losses incurred since 1993 from the civil strife.

Table 2. Burundi: Estimated 1998 B season foodcrop production by commodity (‘000 tonnes)

Province/
Crop
Bubanza Bujumbura Rural Bururi Cankuzo Cibitoke Gitega Karuzi Kirundo Makamba Muramvya Muyinga Ngozi Rutana Ruyigi Kayanza TOTAL
Maize 1 967 721 297 27 3 707 1 915 1 515 6 810 201 1 365 4 216 4 728 89 35 2 757 30 350
Wheat - 1 319 2 985 - - 165 - - 130 2 305 - 10 450 - 1 784 9 148
Paddy 30 900 10 343 5 929 560 2 686 280 816 2 999 3 244 - 420 3 000 1 125 900 - 63 202
Sorghum 693 766 2 321 8 226 3 072 5 565 2 700 10 323 1 164 4 816 7 948 4 780 5 792 6 163 3 102 67 431
Eleusine - - 613 1 730 - 1 593 641 - 81 957 505 603 1 722 1 567 489 10 501
Beans 3 297 2 701 5 009 5 526 4 267 27 708 10 261 24 531 2 266 19 802 17 159 20 000 4 118 8 460 19 123 174 228
Peas 123 420 3 830 438 339 6 261 1 530 1 188 502 1 678 1 451 2 463 364 719 3 732 25 038
Yam - 245 70 - 2 884 2 455 821 275 29 - - - 14 - - 6 793
Irish potato - 3 102 339 98 80 52 65 - 114 3 200 - 300 120 151 2 791 10 412
Cassava 14 077 19 532 14 906 18 394 26 642 37 590 11 510 16 408 11 217 16 091 23 884 25 500 17 640 16 170 17 219 286 780
Taro 4 805 4 949 1 353 736 3 163 3 795 1 870 2 182 545 3 813 1 804 3 524 1 157 810 2 876 37 382
Sweet potato 953 4 511 11 063 4 816 2 291 100 044 31 406 41 415 2 858 72 500 24 052 72 247 3 824 3 089 61 779 436 848
Bananas 42 144 50 440 27 666 13 623 48 816 45 721 13 195 97 173 14 483 20 885 93 805 82 650 26 421 34 454 77 842 689 318
TOTAL 98 959 99 049 76 381 54 174 97 947 233 144 76 330 203 304 36 835 147 412 175 244 219 805 62 836 72 518 193 494 1 847 431

 

Table 3. Burundi: Estimated 1998 foodcrop production (‘000 tonnes)

Season/
Commodity

Average
1988-93

1997
Production

1998
Production

1998 as percent
of average
1988-93

1998
as percent
of 1997




1998A
season

1998 B
season

1998 C
season

Total



Cereals

298

292

90

181

20

291

98

100

Pulses

369

298

87

199

28

314

85

105

Roots & tubers

1 433

1 296

488

778

235

1 501

105

116

Bananas

1 563

1 297

477

689

407

1 573

101

121

TOTAL

3 663

3 183

1 142

1 847

690

3 679

100

115

 


4. REGIONAL ANALYSIS



4.1 Gitega

The security situation was stable in all the communes, enabling camp inhabitants to return to their farms. Planted area increased for all crops in 1998 B season compared to the same season in 1997, except for Irish potato owing to lack of seed. Fertilizers applied during the season represents less than 40 percent of the requirements. Rainfall was normal, except for slight moisture stress in April. The sweet potato crop was affected by African armyworm, but damage was limited by Sumithion applications. A satisfactory harvest is expected.

The nutritional situation is worrying in the southern part of the province. The most common form of malnutrition is kwashiorkor, which denotes a deficient protein intake.

4.2 Rutana

Improved security conditions in the province encouraged the return of refugees who settled directly in their holdings. This led to an expansion in planted area. Fertilizer availability was limited to about 20 percent of the requirements of the season. All crops have benefited from the good weather conditions except for beans (dwarf variety) and rice (floods). Food prices are lower than in the same season in 1997.

Despite improved food production, malnutrition is widespread among children. This situation has led to the establishment of a nutrition-training programme in all communes of the province.

4.3 Ruyigi

Calm security conditions in all communes of Ruyigi province have induced a weekly repatriation of 100 to 140 refugees. In addition, it is estimated that about half of the people living in camps will return to their hillside homes before the end of September.

Rainfall during the 1998 B growing season was adequate and well distributed. However, heavy rains have reduced areas planted to rice in the marshlands (-30 percent). This decline was, nevertheless, offset by an increase in rainfed rice. Food prices are lower than in the corresponding season in the previous year.

4.4 Cankuzo

This is the only province, that has been spared from the troubles induced by the civil strife. There were shortages of Irish potato seed and sweet potato cuttings. Farmers do not use chemical fertilizers as soil fertility is high. Planted area has increased, mainly due to an expansion in fields cultivated to tide-over crops and to offset the decline in production during the previous two seasons.

Overall weather conditions were favourable for crop growth and development but rains in June has delayed harvesting operation. Rice has been adversely affected by floods in the communes of Mushiha and Candajuru.

4.5 Cibitoke

The security situation stabilized throughout the province during 1998 B season and all the communes could be visited. About 94 percent of displaced people had access to land and there is a tendency to dismantle regroupment camps. As a result, areas planted to foodcrops, cotton and tobacco have expanded. Production is anticipated to exceed the previous year level, following good weather conditions and adequate supply of agricultural inputs. The bean crop was, however, negatively affected by diseases.

Agricultural prices remain high due to strong export demand from Rwanda and Bujumbura city.

4.6 Muramvya

During the 1998 B season, the security situation has improved in all communes of Maramvya province, allowing most camp residents to return to their homes. As a result, cultivated areas have significantly increased.

Food production in 1998 has increased by 7 percent compared to the same season in 1997. This contribution to an overall improvement in the nutritional status of the population, except in the northern part of the province close to the Kibira forest where severe malnutrition is about 15 percent.

4.7 Karuzi

This province has not been affected by troubles for the past two years. Most regroupment camps have been dismantled and residents returned to their homes. People still living in campsites had full access to land.

Foodcrop area recorded a substantial increase. However, fertilizer supplies were limited and Irish potato seed was totally unavailable. Aggregate rainfall was adequate, but its uneven distribution adversely affected the bean crop (dwarf variety). To offset this reduction, other bean varieties were planted.

Increased food availability has resulted in a sharp decline in food prices. In addition, there is a progressive reconstitution of the livestock herd. It is expected that during the second semester of the year, a reduced number of people will require assistance in feeding centres.

4.8 Kirundo

Security conditions have been stable and some displaced persons have returned to their farms. Those who remained in camps had full access to their land. Cultivated areas increased by 5 percent over the same season in 1997. Rainfall had been satisfactory till May when there was a dry spell. The harvest was satisfactory, except for late plantings. Food prices have decreased substantially. The nutrition situation has improved.

4.9 Muyinga

The calm security situation has been beneficial to agricultural production activities. There were 2 368 returning refugees from Tanzania between January and July 1998. They settled in their respective communes and had access to their land.

Rainfall was well distributed and planted areas rose, in particular, for tide-over crops (4 percent). In general, the harvest is satisfactory and increased 10 percent on last year’s B season. However, the output of maize and sorghum has declined.

Despite an overall improvement in the health and nutritional situation, the situation remains worrying, for displaced persons and newly returning residents.

4.10 Ngozi

The security situation has stabilized in all communes of the province, thus allowing agricultural production activities to take place under favourable conditions.

The weather situation was better than in 1997 B season. In contrast, there were a limited availability of agricultural and veterinary inputs. Hence, only 39.5 percent of fertilizer demand was met during the season.

The nutritional situation has improved owing to satisfactory harvest in 1998 B season and revenues derived from coffee production.

4.11 Kayanza

Security conditions have substantially improved even in areas close to the Kibira forest. Refugees are progressively returning from DRC.

Rainfall was normal, but there was a short supply of agricultural inputs, mainly Irish potato seed and fertilizers. Planted areas rose 6 percent above the same season level in 1997. Production increased over last year’s B season owing to well distributed rains and limited pest attacks. Food prices have, nevertheless, been rising due to large purchases by merchants to build up their stocks.

4.12 Bujumbura Rural

The security situation remains tense and there were disturbances in the communes of Mubimbi, Isale, Kanyosha, Mutambu, Mugongo-Manga, and particularly in the commune of Mutimbuzi in the rice producing area of Rukaramu.

Cropped areas declined; bean, banana and cassava crops suffered from heavy rains while fertilizer shortages affected rice prices. The total food output in 1998 is estimated to be 2 percent below 1997 B season. Food prices have increased substantially.

The health and nutritional situation is of concern in camp residents. Malnutrition (kwashiorkor) and other diseases (malaria, scabies) are widespread among children and pregnant women.

4.13 Makamba

The security situation has improved during 1998 B crop season, except in the commune of Nyanza-lac and parts of the commune of Vugizo. Consequently, a substantial number of people who took refuge in the marshlands and forests returned to their holdings.

Agricultural inputs were in short supply, particularly for Irish potato seed. In addition, only small quantities of fertilizers were available for the cropping season. However, rainfall was well distributed, resulting in a satisfactory crop growth and development. Total food output rose by 4 percent over 1997 B season, mainly reflecting increases in production of sweet potato and beans. An increase in severe malnutrition is reported in the commune of Nyanza-lac (lake shore).

4.14 Bururi

Security conditions have stabilized except in the communes of Burambi, Buyengero and Rumonge and in the Gasanda area in the commune of Bururi. Farmers who took shelter in the marshlands and forests returned to their hillside homes after a short stay in campsites.

Planted areas have substantially increased, mainly for sweet potato and beans. Nevertheless, output rose only slightly as compared to 1997 B season due to shortage of inputs.

The number of admissions in supplementary and therapeutic centres has increased owing to an improvement in the referral system following improvement in the security conditions. Adults represent 55 percent of the malnourished suffering from kwashiorkor and marasmus.

4.15 Bubanza

The security situation has markedly improved during the 1998 B season, allowing the relocation of some campsites. Camp residents representing about 54 percent of the province’s population have been moved near their holdings, thus permitting them to cultivate their land. Cropped areas have almost doubled and the harvest increased as compared to 1997 B season.

Rainfall was generally satisfactory, though excessive in some parts of the province causing floods with adverse effect on the bean crop. Fertilizers and pesticides were in short supply.

The nutritional status is alarming for people who previously took shelter in the forest and marshlands. Most of them suffer from kwashiorkor, scabies and malaria.


5. FOOD SUPPLY/DEMAND SITUATION



5.1 Economic situation

Easing of economic sanctions in April 1997 has led to resumption in most trade activities with neighbouring countries. Through the Cankuzo Province, Burundi imports cattle, yellow beans and rice from Tanzania and exports beer, sugar, soap and gas-oil. Except for the cattle trade, quantities involved in exchange of the other goods are rather small. Exports of unknown quantities of cassava to the Democratic Republic of Congo have been also reported.

The embargo’s adverse effect on the domestic economy is subsiding in particular in the transportation sector with a reduction in the gas-oil price to 350 FBU/litre in July 1998 from FBU 663 FBU/litre in July 1997. With the improved security conditions and availability of gas at an affordable price, the main roads leading out from Bujumbura to the provinces are open and traffic is heavy. Markets are well supplied with foodstuffs and merchants took advantage of the harvest period to build up stocks, particularly of beans and maize. Port activities are approaching the pre-embargo level.

The industrial production index has increased by 50 percent during the first quarter of 1998 compared to the same period in 1997. This reflects renewed activity in the industrial sector, in particular in textile, cigarettes and beverage production. From January to May 1998, custom receipts amounted to FBU 17 billion. They are expected to increase from FBU 24 billion in 1997 to FBU 38.5 billion in 1998. The substantial improvement in 1998 is due mainly to export taxes levied on coffee, which totalled FBU 600 million in March, FBU 900 million in April and FBU 400 million in May 1998 against virtually no receipts before the easing of the embargo.

Coffee and tea are the main export crops and represent together 89 percent of the country’s export earnings. Coffee production has decreased from some 33 000 tonnes in 1997 to 26 000 tonnes in 1998. This decline is mainly due to heavy rainfall in the first half of the year that adversely affected coffee. On the other hand, tea production has increased from 6 900 tonnes in 1997 to 9 800 tonnes in 1998.

In spite of the positive signs of renewed activity in various economic sectors, the economic situation is still precarious with a decline of 39 percent in foreign exchange reserves in the first quarter of 1998 compared to the corresponding period in 1997.

5.2 Food prices and availability

Table 4 presents price changes on Bujumbura central market for the main food products between January and July 1998. Following reduced harvests in both the 1997 C and 1998 A seasons, food prices were high in the first quarter of the year. They have generally declined since May in anticipation of this season’s improved harvest. Prices of sorghum have stabilized at the high levels of the beginning of the year due to a slight decline in this season’s production. Exceptions to the declining prices trend are, however, maize and Irish potatoes prices. The tight situation for Irish potato arises from reduced supplies this season induced by severe seed shortage.

Overall, food prices remain well above their levels of July 1996 before the embargo. The improved supplies this season barely covers additional demand stemming from population growth and the per caput food production remains well below the average of the 1993-1998 pre-civil strife period.

Table 4: Consumer prices of main food products in Bujumbura city from January to July 1998 (FBU/Kg)

Products July 1996
(pre-embargo)
Jan 1998 Feb 1998 Mar 1998 April 1998 May 1998 June
1998
July 1998
Beans 120 310 300 348 343 306 300 250
Maize 80 175 200 188 150 150 200 225
Dry cassava 100 180 180 180 120 104 117 120
Irish potatoes 120 265 220 213 260 356 393 350
Sweet potatoes 90 150 150 188 150 126 167 155
Banana (medium regime) - 1 775 2 250 1 900 1 800 184 1 400 1 550
Rice 198 400 450 463 450 410 350 350
Sorghum 125 225 250 238 163 180 250 275

5.3 Food supply and demand balance

5.4. Nutritional Situation

Recent surveys carried out in various regions of the country indicate that the areas with the highest malnutrition rates are those still affected by the civil strife, namely Cibitoke, Bubanza, Bujumbura Rural, Bururi, Makamba, Kayanza, and the northern part of Muramvya provinces.

While the production expansion during the 1998 B season will improve somewhat the nutritional status of the majority of the population, a dramatic change is not expected in the short-term. This is due to various factors, including the decline in per caput food production from pre-crisis levels; the lack of food reserves; and an unbalanced food intake deriving from the predominance of roots and tubers in diets.

Despite the increase in production in 1998, the food and nutrition situation remains precarious. Food output in the current year is about the same as the 1988-1993 pre-crisis annual average level. In addition, the production structure shows major imbalances with adverse effects on the nutrition and health status of the population in general and the vulnerable groups in particular. While roots and tubers production has exceeded by 5 percent the pre-crisis level, that of pulses is 15 percent below the 1988-1993 annual average level. Efforts by national authorities to increase roots and tubers production must be complemented with similar efforts to expand pulses production, in order to avoid increased malnutrition rates resulting from an unbalanced food intake.

Table 5 summarizes the 1998 (January-December) projected supply/demand balance for cereals, pulses, roots and tubers and bananas.

Foodgrain stocks are assumed to be negligible at the beginning of the 1998 marketing year. This situation stems from a reduced harvest in the preceding two production seasons.

Food requirements are based on annual per caput consumption of 47 kg of cereals, 52 kg of pulses, 230 kg of roots and tubers, and 264 kg of bananas and plantains. On the basis of a recently revised current population figure of 6.29 million, consumption requirements are estimated at 295 000 tonnes of cereals, 327 000 tonnes of pulses, 1.45 million tonnes of roots and tubers, and 1.66 million tonnes of bananas and plantains.

Non-food uses, including seed retention and post-harvest losses are assumed at 13 percent of the production for cereals, 18 percent for pulses, and 10 percent for both roots and tubers, and bananas and plantains.

The food deficit in 1998 is estimated at 42 000 tonnes of cereals, 69 000 tonnes of pulses, 95 000 tonnes of roots and tubers, and 244 000 tonnes of bananas and plantains. The shortfall in cereals and pulses could be covered by imports. Roots and tubers, and bananas are difficult to import, as they are bulky and perishable and are not traditional food aid items. About two-thirds of the bananas produced are consumed in the form of banana beer and, hence, not easily substitutable for cereals in consumers’ food baskets. The Mission considered it unlikely that consumers would fully substitute the deficits in roots, tubers and bananas with cereals, but that other foods would be used to offset part of the shortfall.

Table 5: Food Supply and Demand Balance Sheet for 1998 (‘000 tonnes)


Cereals Pulses Roots & Tubers Bananas & Plantains
A. Total availability 291 314 1 501 1 573
- 1998 Production 291 314 1 501 1 573
* Season 98 A 90 87 488 477
* Season 98 B 181 199 778 689
* Season 98 C 20 28 235 407
- Stock drawdown 0 0 0 0
B. Total Utilization 333 383 1 596 1 817
- Food Use 295 327 1 446 1 660
- Seed, feed and other uses 38 56 150 157
C. Import Requirements/deficit 42 69 (95) (244) 1/
- Commercial Imports 6 44 - -
- Food aid requirement 36 25


1/ Total deficit in roots, tubers and bananas estimated at 19 000 tonnes (in cereal equivalent), not intended to be covered by imports.

Given the renewed activity in several economic sectors, and the possibilities of increased foreign exchange earnings from coffee and tea exports, it is assumed that commercial imports through formal and informal channels could amount to 6 000 tonnes of cereals and 44 000 tonnes of pulses. The food aid requirement for 1998 is estimated at 36 000 tonnes of cereals and 25 000 tonnes of pulses. WFP’s earlier planned food aid figure of 60 000 tonnes for 1998 has been scaled down to 45 700 tonnes due to logistical problems. Food aid deliveries in the first semester of 1998 are estimated at 15 700 tonnes.

 

This report is prepared on the responsibility of the FAO Secretariat with information from official and unofficial sources. Since conditions may change rapidly, please contact Mr. Abdur Rashid, Chief, ESCG, FAO, (Telex 610181 FAO I; Fax: 0039-06-5705-4495, E-Mail (INTERNET): GIEWS1@FAO.ORG) for further information if required.

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