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

 SPECIAL REPORT

FAO/WFP CROP AND FOOD SUPPLY ASSESSMENT MISSION TO TANZANIA

3 August 1998

 

 


HIGHLIGHTS

  • Despite crop damage due to excessive rainfall, El Niño related rains have generally been favourable for the 1998 main crop season, and the outcome is forecast to be generally good.

  • Aggregate production of foodcrops in 1998 is forecast at some 32 percent above last year’s reduced volume and 13 percent above the average output for the past five years.

  • Aggregate food supplies in the 1998/99 marketing year are forecast to exceed requirements for most foodcrops, except sorghum/millet and wheat.

  • Exportable surpluses are forecast for rice following a bumper harvest, and to a limited extent for maize.

  • Notwithstanding an overall increase in food production much of central Tanzania and parts of northern and coastal areas are likely to experience considerable food deficits.

  • Some 300 000 people will require food assistance. Targeted interventions, including the use by WFP of unallocated food aid stocks, are recommended. No external food aid is expected to be required.

 


1. OVERVIEW


After drought and food shortages had affected many regions in 1996/97, Tanzania experienced unusually heavy rains in 1997/98, starting in October, which have been attributed to the El Niño weather phenomenon. Widespread flooding devastated agriculture in various parts of the country and inflicted considerable damage to roads, bridges and railways, disrupting transport communications. Against this background, an FAO/WFP Mission was requested by the Government in January this year to assess the outcome of the 1997/1998 secondary (Vuli) crop production and to make an early assessment of the prospects for the 1998 main season (Masika and "seasonal rains" crops), which accounts for over 80 percent of the annual food crop production. The latest Mission was fielded from 25 June to 16 July 1998 to review the outcome of the 1998 main season crop and estimate the cereal import requirements for marketing year 1998/99 (June/May). The Mission also estimated the food assistance needs over the next 12 months of people affected by crop failure or significantly reduced production.

Working in five field teams, the Mission assessed the prospective outcome of the main crop season in all of Tanzania’s 20 regions [ The Missionís assessment was limited to Tanzania Mainland, excluding Zanzibar. Unless otherwise stated, all data refer to Mainland only.] . It discussed the crop situation with officials at regional, district and village levels, with farmers and their associations, with private traders and local NGOs, made its own field inspections, and undertook local market surveys. In addition, it consulted with all relevant departments of the Central Government, interviewed the principal trading firms in the food and agricultural business, and made contact with the international development co-operation community.

Abundant rains this year encouraged farmers to expand the total area planted to food crops to 5.31 million hectares or 15 percent above last year. Area increases occurred, especially for roots and tubers, maize and wheat. On the other hand, the area planted to millet and sorghum declined by 29 percent, as rainfall conditions were not very conducive to the cultivation of these crops. Total food crop production is estimated to grow by 32 percent to 7.99 million tonnes cereal equivalent, with substantial increases estimated for cereals, bananas and roots and tubers. Within the cereals group, however, millet and sorghum production is forecast to fall by 32 percent, while maize and paddy is estimated to increase by 54 and 84 percent respectively. These forecast results suggest not only a significant recovery over last year’s drought-induced poor performance, but also about 13 percent increase over the five-year average 1993-97.

In estimating the national food supply and demand balance for the marketing year 1998/99, the Mission foresees domestic supplies exceeding requirements for all food crops, except for millet/sorghum and wheat. Major surpluses are expected for roots and tubers and bananas. Exports of rice in the order of 100 000 tonnes and 70 000 tonnes of maize are anticipated, the latter mainly in the form of already authorized exports as well as informal cross-border trade between Tanzania and its eight neighbours. With a 40 percent reduction of Zambia’s maize harvest this year, substantial amounts of maize are expected to flow out of Tanzania’s southern regions into neighbouring Zambian provinces offering attractive prices. Considerable quantities of Tanzania’s bumper paddy harvest will be bound for Uganda. The trend of informal cross-border net exports into Kenya is expected to continue this year.

The shortfall in sorghum/millet is expected to be partially covered by substitution with non-cereal crops. Full substitution is not possible since about half of the sorghum/millet is consumed in the form of beer. Overall, however, increased consumption of other food, reflecting ample supplies, will allow most of the population to maintain normal levels of total food consumption.

The above-average results of this season are unlikely to be shared by all Tanzanians. Much of Central Tanzania and parts of the Northern and Coast areas experience considerable food deficits - with chronic deficits being compounded by this year’s poor sorghum and millet performance. The Government, in cooperation with WFP and its implementing NGOs, is in the process of identifying food-deficit villages and vulnerable households. So far a total of 319 food-deficit villages have been identified in Dodoma and Tabora regions alone, as well as some 38 000 food-deficit households in Singida. These efforts will continue, pending additional financial support, with the aim of targeting people in need of food assistance and determining the timing and quantities of such assistance. A preliminary estimate puts the likely number of people in need of food assistance at 300 000-350 000 people. The Mission recommends that the food assistance requirement be covered by procuring domestically available supplies.


2. FOOD AND AGRICULTURE IN THE MACRO-ECONOMIC CONTEXT

[ This section draws, inter alia , on: Bank of Tanzania - Economic Bulletin for the quarter ended 31st December, 1997, Vol. XXVII, No.4; Bank of Tanzania - Monthly Economic Review, June 1998; United Republic of Tanzania - Country Position Paper, World Food Summit, 13-17 November 1996 UNDP - Human Development Report 1997; The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) - Country Profile Tanzania 1997; EIU - Tanzania, Fourth-Quarter Report 1997 ]

Located on the eastern coast of Africa, Tanzania covers a land area of 827 000 km2. With an estimated population of 32 million people in 1998 [ All Union, i.e. Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar; official estimate by the Central Bureau of Statistics, which is the Governmentís authoritative source for population statistics. ] , Tanzania is among Sub-Saharan Africa’s most populous countries - and among the poorest, with a 1997 per caput GDP of US$168 (at constant 1992 prices). Life expectancy at birth is 50.3 years (1994), the infant mortality rate is a high 96 per 1000 births, some 30 percent of all children under five years are malnourished (underweight), and less than a quarter of the rural population has access to health services. The 1997 Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ranks Tanzania 149th out of 175 countries.

For over a decade now, Tanzania has passed through a difficult period of transition, transforming its economy from a centrally planned development model in the first two decades after independence into a market-oriented economy. Since 1986, when the Government reached agreement with the IMF on support for an Economic Recovery Programme (ERP), the country has been engaged in a process of more or less continuous structural adjustment. In pursuit of this, agricultural marketing and the country’s overall trade regime have been liberalized, exchange controls have been lifted, competitive investment incentives put in place - all this in the framework of fiscal austerity.

Tanzania is on a path of modest, but steady economic growth. Between 1987 and 1997, GDP grew at an average annual rate of 3.5 percent (at constant 1992 prices), slightly ahead of the estimated population growth rate of 2.8 percent. After below average growth rates in 1992-1994, growth recovered in 1995 and reached 4.2 and 4.0 percent in 1996 and 1997, respectively (Table 1). However, this falls still short of the Government’s 1997/98 target of 5 percent. GDP is forecast to grow at 4.0 and 5.5 percent in 1998 and 1999. Inflation has reached a 17-year record low, with overall inflation standing at 12.6 percent in May 1998; this compares to the Government’s target of a rate of 5 percent in June 1998. External debt levels have been between US$ 7.5 and 8.5 billion during the period of 1992-1997, standing at US$ 7.9 billion in 1997. The debt:service ratio declined from 31.4 percent in 1992 to 16.0 percent in 1996.

Table 1: Agriculture in the Tanzanian economy - key indicators


1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
GDP per caput (1992 constant prices), US $ 171 167 164 166 168 168
Annual growth rate of total GDP, % 1.8 0.4 1.4 3.6 4.2 4.0
Debt, billion US $ 7.5 8.0 8.4 7.8 8.0 7.9
Debt service ratio, % of goods/service exports 31.4 21.9 16.5 17.3 16.0 N.A.
Foreign reserves, million US $ 327.3 203.3 332.1 270.2 440.1 N.A.
Agricultural GDP as % of total GDP 54.8 54.8 54.8 56.8 55.7 52.3
Agr. GDP real growth rate, % 4.3 8.9 2.0 7.0 5.4 3.1
Agr. exports, annual growth rate (value) 16.7 9.0 31.4 13.9 16.6 -19.4
Agr. exports as % of total exports 58.7 58.3 64.9 56.1 58.7 50.1

 

Structurally, the economy continues to depend heavily on agriculture, whose contribution to total GDP has changed little over the past 12 years: it was estimated at 58 percent in 1986 and has hovered around 55 percent in the 1990s (Table 1). Agricultural GDP growth has been between 2 and 9 percent over the past six years. Agriculture employs four-fifths of the labour force and accounts for an average of 58 percent of export earnings. Agricultural exports grew between 9 and 31 percent during 1992-96, but fell by 19 percent in the drought year of 1997. The principal export earners are coffee, tobacco, cotton and tea. Agricultural production is dominated by smallholders, who produce most of the food crops as well as coffee, cotton, tobacco and cashew nuts.

A major impediment to agricultural development is the poor integration and organisation of the domestic market. This is due, above all, to poor road and transport infrastructure, but also to insufficiently developed marketing institutions. These conditions impact negatively on domestic food security, by impeding, among other things, the flow of food from surplus to deficit areas, both within and between regions. Frequently, food surpluses flow more easily into Tanzania’s eight neighbouring countries than into internal deficit areas. A Government-operated Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR) was established in 1991 to counterbalance these market shortcomings to some degree and to facilitate both physical and economic access to food, especially in times of food shortage and natural disasters. Established with a target of 150 000 tonnes of maize stocks, the SGR never exceeded 84 000 tonnes and has generally operated at much lower levels. Its current stocks stand at 40 000 tonnes of maize. The SGR must clearly be seen as an interim measure, until more efficiently functioning markets and effective demand can assure the flow of food to areas and people where it is needed.


3. FOOD CROP PRODUCTION



3.1 Unimodal and bimodal rainfall and cropping patterns

Tanzania’s cropping patterns are determined by seven distinct agro-climatic zones. At the risk of oversimplification, they can be considered as falling under two broad categories: the unimodal and the bimodal rainfall areas. The latter is characterized by a short-rains minor cropping season, known as Vuli, with planting around October/November and harvesting in late January/February; and the main, long-rains season, called Masika, following immediately the Vuli season, with planting in late February/March and harvesting in July/August. The bimodal areas extend over the northern and north-eastern regions, including Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Moshi, Tanga, as well as Kigoma, Kagera, Mwanza, Mara and parts of Morogoro, Mbeya, Dar es Salaam and Coast. Elsewhere in the country, i.e. the central and southern regions, rainfall is unimodal, with planting starting around November and harvesting taking place from May to July. In some regions, these unimodal or "seasonal rains" are also referred to as Masika. The contribution of the Vuli season to total national food crop production averages some 17 percent (about 15 percent in the case of cereals crops).

3.2 1998 food crop production

Since regional and district level statistics do not always separate the Vuli and Masika seasons where they exist, the Mission made its estimates for total food production in 1998. Throughout this report, quantities of non-cereal crops are given in cereal equivalent.

3.2.1 1997/98 rainfall

The 1997/98 crop season was generally characterized by excessive and much above-normal rains attributed to the influence of El Niño phenomenon that resulted in general in a better crop performance.

In general, Vuli rains started in early October, but continued to fall longer than normal up to February/March with a very high intensity. For example, Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions received in January more than 200 percent of normal monthly precipitation, while Tanga recorded more than 300 percent of the long term average rainfall between October and December. Masika rains in bimodal areas, which came earlier than last year, were almost a continuation of the Vuli rains with heavy downpours registered from their start to end of May when they stopped abruptly in most regions. Both Vuli and Masika had above normal and uninterrupted rains, amounting to 132 percent of normal rainfall between October and June, with many months especially in Vuli receiving amounts in excess of 300 percent of normal.

Over the unimodal areas, the rains started earlier in Kigoma region (western areas) and arrived as usual in early November in central and south-western areas. From the start of the season up to the end in April/May, the unimodal areas recorded intensive and continuous rains, which exceeded 50 percent of normal levels over central areas and 20 percent in the southern areas. The continued rains favoured crops mainly grown in the uplands, whereas along the lowlands paddy benefited much from the excessive precipitation.

In general, the rainfall pattern in 1998 has been favourable to the crops. It also benefited livestock due to improved pastures and water availability. However, throughout the country rains damaged roads, bridges and other infrastructure and disrupted communication.

3.2.2 Planted area

Compared to the previous year, which experienced severe drought, the total area planted to foodcrops increased by 15 percent. The bulk of this increase is accounted for maize and wheat (+ 30 percent), cassava (+23 percent), potatoes (+72 percent), bananas (+15 percent) and rice (+12 percent). The expansion in the area planted this year was, however, limited by excessive rainfalls and the overlap between Vuli and Masika rains in the bimodal areas, which made land preparation difficult. In the unimodal areas, some low-lying fields were abandoned due to floods, since farmers lacked seeds for replanting. This was in general the case of sorghum and more particularly millet whose areas declined all over the country by 22 percent and 42 percent respectively.

3.2.3 Yields

Overall, the abundant rains led to improved yields compared to the previous year notably for rice, potatoes and bananas. However, water logging affected cassava in Morogoro, Mtawara, Lindi and Singida regions and excessive rains hit pulses during the flowering stage. Moreover, heavy rains favoured pests and diseases in particular the green and brown stink and sucking bugs of the calidea type in sorghum and millet. In general, the low use of agricultural inputs due to high prices continues to be a factor limiting sorghum and millet yields.

3.2.4 Total 1998 crop production

The Mission estimates the total 1998 crop production at 7.99 millions tonnes in cereal equivalent, of which 4.5 million tonnes of cereals, 412 000 tonnes of pulses, 2.29 millions tonnes of roots and tubers and 777 000 tonnes of bananas (Table 2). Compared with the previous year, total foodcrop production is 32 percent higher, with the largest increases for cereals (36 percent), bananas (29 percent) and roots and tubers (28 percent). Among cereal, millet and sorghum production is forecast to fall by 32 percent, while maize and paddy are expected to increase by 54 and 84 percent respectively. This year’s food production estimate also compares favourably with longer-term trends (Chart 1). It increased by 13 percent over the five-year average of 1993-97. The regional distribution of this year’s estimated production is given in Table 3.

Table 2: 1998 total production estimates (in cereal equivalent)


1998 1997 Average 1993-97 Production

Area
(ha)
Production
(tonnes)
Area
(ha)
Production
(tonnes)
Area
(ha)
Production
(tonnes)
1998/1997
(%)
1998/Aver
(%)
Sorghum 488 102 426 935 622 582 498 481 656 577 681 428 86 63
Millet 204 074 148 026 353 661 347 000 356 295 310 622 43 48
Sub-total Sorghum/Millet 692 176 574 961 976 243 845 481 1 012 872 992 050 68 58
Maize 2 028 026 2 822 401 1 564 036 1 831 236 1 611 322 2 324 939 154 121
Paddy 492 306 1 013 256 439 217 549 800 422 764 652 384 184 155
Wheat 73 936 96 346 56 600 78 000 48 117 71 214 124 135
Sub-total Cereals 3 286 443 4 506 964 3 036 096 3 304 517 3 095 075 4 040 587 136 112
Pulses 603 275 412 036 511 984 374 100 538 725 363 994 110 113
Cassava 693 190 1 548 129 563 531 1 426 000 617 341 1 585 418 109 98
Potatoes 448 841 744 161 261 492 366 089 242 179 353 918 203 210
Sub-total Root Crops 1 142 031 2 292 290 825 023 1 792 089 859 520 1 939 336 128 118
Bananas 278 279 777 912 241 543 603 100 256 625 705 884 129 110
Total Foodcrops 5 310 027 7 989 202 4 614 646 6 073 806 4 749 945 7 049 801 132 113


Sources: 1998: Mission’s estimates. 1997 and Average: Food Security Department.

Undisplayed Graphic

Table 3: 1998 Total Production by Region and by Crop

Region Sorghum B.Millet F.Millet Maize Paddy Wheat Beans Peas Pigeon Peas Cassava Sweet potatoes Irish potatoes Bananas Total by Region
Arusha 0 31 406 0 327 233 8 131 53 310 33 214 0 0 13 002 3 324 0 34 986 504 606
Coast/DSM 11 436 0 0 33 171 34 916 0 2 881 0 0 48 474 2 276 0 4 235 137 389
Dodoma 42 091 29 070 4 863 122 441 5 042 0 4 156 0 5 667 29 061 0 0 0 242 391
Iringa 27 057 0 3 276 478 448 3 935 32 635 64 006 0 0 6 993 66 292 92 483 129 775 253
Kagera 13 114 0 0 98 509 2 385 0 58 593 4 315 0 270 941 95 681 5 950 165 825 715 313
Kigoma 6 500 0 2 200 112 240 16 924 0 28 076 0 1 080 72 520 56 233 0 45 275 341 047
Kilimanjaro 7 475 0 4 974 179 604 24 853 8 050 47 617 0 0 31 977 12 458 9 588 380 244 706 839
Lindi 28 637 0 0 38 029 21 596 0 9 538 0 0 53 974 0 0 0 151 774
Mara 52 582 1 000 2 594 11 598 9 230 0 6 172 0 0 88 537 30 463 440 6 768 209 385
Mbeya 11 760 0 18 060 227 340 101 000 500 29 035 0 0 17 340 26 180 34 544 98 280 564 039
Morogoro 13 680 0 0 174 271 104 714 0 3 300 0 0 21 692 0 0 0 317 657
Mtwara 52 605 0 0 84 947 42 181 0 16 377 0 0 331 807 0 0 0 527 917
Mwanza 18 158 0 0 116 901 163 941 0 0 0 0 178 446 30 154 0 0 507 600
Rukwa 3 367 0 21 215 149 900 66 795 1 054 38 601 0 0 92 135 41 831 0 0 414 897
Ruvuma 1 000 0 0 212 319 38 451 0 15 844 5 775 0 102 649 45 220 0 0 421 258
Shinyanga 73 641 0 0 233 218 236 490 0 9 293 0 0 71 111 158 374 0 0 782 126
Singida 49 743 28 789 505 32 661 5 097 97 3 057 313 0 542 7 380 0 0 128 184
Tabora 14 089 0 0 69 063 84 554 0 7 491 0 0 76 000 19 125 0 0 270 322
Tanga 0 75 0 120 508 43 022 700 17 636 0 0 40 928 5 385 780 42 170 271 204
Total 426 935 90 340 57 686 2 822 401 1 013 256 96 346 394 886 10 403 6 747 1 548 129 600 375 143 786 777 912 7 989 202

Source: Mission’s estimate.

3.3 Livestock Sector

Major regions with livestock are Mwanza, Shinyanga, Tabora, Arusha, Mara and Singida. Cattle population is estimated at 5.6 million; goats 10.6 million and sheep 3.5 million. Livestock contributes 30 percent of agricultural GDP or 18 percent of national GDP. Annual growth of the sector is 8 percent. In Arusha and Lake Zone regions, as well as central Tanzania areas, large numbers of cattle and small ruminants are found normally grazing on the communal lands. During times of food insecurity, marketing of the livestock normally increases to purchase food. It is also common for the livestock to be exchanged for cereals in periods of food scarcity.

Countrywide, the condition of livestock is satisfactory as the abundant Masika rains favoured pasture and fodder growth and water availability for animals. This has also contributed to the increase in livestock products notably meat and milk as a supplement to main protein source from pulses. Under a National Agriculture and Livestock Extension Project (NALEP) being funded by World Bank/IDA the Government is making an effort to improve animal health through vaccinations, health surveillance, treatment control, including improvement of marketing and extension service.


4. FOOD SUPPLY SITUATION



4.1 Unrecorded cross-border trade in marketing year 1998/99

Informal, unrecorded cross-border trade (UCBT), which is common throughout Africa, is of particular importance in Tanzania, given its long borders with eight neighbouring countries (Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Zaire, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Mozambique). A recent study, whose findings are still under review and thus not yet published, suggests that there exists a significant informal trade relative to total external trade with five of Tanzania’s neighbours (Rwanda, Burundi and Mozambique were not covered). For example, informal cereal and pulses exports in 1995/96 may have added something like 50 percent to formal exports in that year. However, its impact on total food supplies in Tanzania is relatively small, probably amounting to around one percent of domestic grains production. According to the study [ The study on "Unrecorded cross-border trade between Tanzania and her neighbors: implications for food security" was commissioned by the US Agency for Development (USAID) and covered the period of August 1995 - July 1996.] , informal food commodity exports in 1995/96 may have been in the order of 100 000 tonnes, with fish accounting for about one-half and most of the remainder being cereals and roots. The leading UCBT export commodities in volume terms were maize, followed by rice, beans and roots and tubers. Tanzania was a UCBT net exporter for all major food commodities, but in terms of formal trade is a net importer of most of these crops, at least as far as cereals and pulses are concerned (Table 4).

Table 4: Officially recorded annual imports 1/ and exports of cereals and pulses, five-year average 1993-97 (tonnes)

Crop Imports Exports Net Imports
Maize 47 880 6 000 41 880
Rice 50 780 4 760 46 020
Wheat 63 100 - 63 100
Pulses 2/ 19 060 13 202 5 858


Sources: Food Security Department, MAC; FAO – FAOSTAT
1/ Commercial and food aid imports
2/ Average 1992/96

The size of informal food commodity trade naturally varies with the annual climatic and food production conditions in Tanzania and its neighbours, but since many of the neighbouring countries have a deficit in some major food crops in most years, informal trade will remain a fact of economic life in Tanzania’s extensive border regions. Given Tanzania’s low degree of market integration, first and foremost because of its under-developed road infrastructure, informal trade opens markets for farmers in border regions and helps increase food security on both sides of the frontier. It creates production incentives for Tanzanian farmers, but it also deprives governments of much needed revenues, considering the considerable value of such trade - preliminary data from the aforementioned study put the value of Tanzania’s informal food exports at some US$ 90 million in 1995/96.

For the 1998/99 marketing year, the Mission expects considerable UCBT outflows into Zambia, where this year’s maize production is estimated to be reduced by over 40 percent. Mission observations also suggest considerable informal exports of rice into Uganda, where prices are much higher than on the Tanzanian side of the border. In Rwanda, cereal production of the first crop season this year is estimated to have fallen short of consumption requirements, favouring UCBT exports from Tanzania. That is also the case for Burundi. At the Kenyan border, UCBT net flows in most years are from Tanzania to Kenya, which has a chronic cereal deficit and offers generally higher prices than those prevailing on the Tanzanian side. This year will be no exception. The Mission estimates that a total of 43 000 tonnes (cereal equivalent) of food crops may be exported informally during the 1998/99 marketing year. These UCBT net exports would comprise some 20 000 tonnes of maize, at least 10 000 tonnes of rice, 5 000 tonnes of wheat, 5 000 tonnes of beans, 2 000 and 1 000 tonnes (cereal equivalent) respectively of roots/tubers and bananas.

4.2 Declining trends in food prices

As noted earlier, inflation as measured by the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) reached, in May this year, its lowest level in 17 years. In the 1990s, overall inflation (food and non-food) peaked at 33.1 percent in 1994 and declined to 12.6 percent in May 1998 (Chart 2). Food is the principal determinant of overall inflation, with a weight of 71.2 percent in the NCPI. Food price inflation declined from its peak of 39.1 percent in 1994 to 12.6 percent in February 1997, but climbed again to over 20 percent in Mid-1997, reflecting the poor 1997 harvest. Since then, it has been declining, reaching 15 percent in May 1998. In contrast, non-food price inflation fell to a rate of 6.6 percent.

Undisplayed Graphic

Average retail prices in major urban markets in all 20 regions for maize in June 1998 were TShs 129 per kg, or 20 percent lower than in June last year; those for rice stood at Tshs 337 per kg, or 27 percent less than the same month a year ago (Chart 3). This year’s prices are also down for sweet potatoes (-22 percent) and for beans (-15). These price declines reflect relatively good harvest expectations and market arrivals for these crops this year. On the other hand, a 20 percent increase in banana prices is forecast. This difference is largely explained by the production structure and the lack of market integration. Only six of Tanzania’s 20 regions are major banana producers, and poor road and transport communications do not allow easy distribution of supplies throughout the country. Cassava prices were slightly above last year’s level (+5 percent); the expected abundant supplies will only be reflected in price declines during the main marketing period later, during the "lean" season from October to December/January in bimodal rainfall areas and February-April next year elsewhere in the country.

Undisplayed Graphic

4.3 Food supply/demand balance for 1998/99

In estimating the country’s aggregate food supply situation for the marketing year 1998/99 (June-May), including food import requirements and exportable surpluses, the Mission used the following parameters for developing the national food balance sheet:

On the basis of the above assumptions, the Mission’s forecast for the 1998/99 marketing year is as follows:

Table 5: Tanzania – Food Balance Sheet, June 1998-May 1999 (‘000 tonnes in cereal equivalent)


Maize Sorghum and Millet Rice Wheat Pulses Roots & tub. Bananas Total food
Domestic Availability 3 034 585 677 153 419 2 292 777 7 937
Opening stocks 212 10 18 57 7 0 0 304
Production 2 822 575 659 96 412 2 292 777 7 633
Total utilization 3 034 817 677 165 406 2 128 722 7 949
Consumption 2 348 746 509 136 359 1 813 506 6 417
Other uses/losses 432 71 33 5 31 206 215 993
Exports 1/ 70 0 100 5 5 2 1 183
Closing stocks2/ 184 0 35 20 11 107 0 357
Deficit/surpluses 0 (- 232) 0 (- 12) 13 164 55 (- 12)
Imports 0 0 0 12 0 0 0 12
Cross substitution 0 232 0 0 - 13 - 164 - 55 0

1/ Includes informal, unrecorded cross-border net exports.
2/ Closing stocks of roots and tubers refer to crops standing in the field.

For all crops, except for sorghum/millet and wheat, the Mission forecasts supplies to exceed normal utilization requirements. It estimates that the bumper rice harvest will allow for exports in the order of 100 000 tonnes and forecasts maize exports of some 70 000 tonnes, of which some 50 000 tonnes have recently been authorized by the Government. In both cases, an allowance for informal, unrecorded cross-border trade (UCBT) has been included in these estimates. It must be emphasized that these estimates assume the output of the forthcoming Vuli season at this year’s level.

On the other hand, the Mission forecasts a major shortfall of sorghum/millet production. An estimated 50 percent of the sorghum/millet is consumed in the form of beer and, therefore, is not fully substitutable for other crops in the household food basket. The Mission has used reduced consumption level of sorghum/millet (24 kg against the normal 31 kg), assuming some decrease in beer consumption. Even at this level there would be an estimated direct-consumption deficit of 232 000 tonnes. However, given the ample supplies of other foods, this deficit could be compensated for by substitution of the total surplus pulses and parts of those in roots and tubers and in bananas. The Mission assumes that about two-thirds of the deficit will be covered by roots and tubers that are widely grown in the country. In fact, the Mission noted that many sorghum/millet farmers this year planted additionally quick-maturing sweet potatoes to compensate for millet shortfalls. Bananas are more region-specific and are bulky and expensive to transport. Therefore, it is assumed that only one-third of the remaining sorghum/millet deficit will be substituted by bananas.

Even after allowing a substitution of 164 000 tonnes of roots and tubers and 55 000 tonnes of bananas, there would still be unused supplies of both crop groups, which are exported only in small quantities of UCBT because they are perishable and expensive to transport. In the case of cassava, the unused supplies would be left standing in the field as a form of "natural storage". As far as bananas are concerned, unused and non-exportable surpluses would have to be counted as losses.

Imports of wheat are forecast at 12 000 tonnes. Wheat is mostly consumed in urban areas in the form of bread and, because of entrenched food habits, its substitution by other food crops appears unrealistic. However, imports this year are forecast to decline sharply from the five-year average 1993-1997 of 63 100 tonnes. This is the combined result of high production levels this year and large carry-over stocks from last year, when wheat imports were at a record high of 124 800 tonnes (FSD estimate). The wheat import forecast also takes account of a small amount of estimated UCBT exports (5 000 tonnes).

The ample overall food supplies will allow the country to maintain a normal level of total food consumption in marketing year 1998/99, despite a decline in that of sorghum/millet. In face of these ample supplies there is also no justification for external food aid to be brought into the country during this period. Any food assistance required for vulnerable populations should be procured from domestically available supplies, or drawn from uncommitted food aid stocks already in the country.

4.4 Emergency Food Assistance 1998

In September 1997, the Government of Tanzania declared a state of general food deficit in the country amounting to 776 000 tonnes, as a result of complete failure of the 1996/97 Vuli crop and a reduced 1997 Masika harvest, both due to insufficient rainfall; some ten percent of the deficit, 76 000 tonnes, was requested by the Government as relief food assistance.

Under an Emergency Operation approved by FAO and WFP in November 1997, 69 140 tonnes of maize and pulses were mobilized and by early December 1997, prepositioning of relief food assistance had begun.

Prepositioning and distribution of relief food assistance was seriously hampered by the damage and flooding attributed to El Niño. Hundreds of villages in the central and coastal zones were completely cut off and flooding rendered thousands of people homeless. During the period October 1997 to April 1998 a total of 47 000 tonnes of relief food were distributed, of which 17 000 by the Government of Tanzania (from the Strategic Grain Reserve) and 30 000 by WFP. Although many villages were not reached, the general food distribution was halted end April 1998, as the new harvests were coming on the market and prices were falling.

Despite the good harvest which the Mission forecasts for 1998, a significant number of people who were affected in 1997/98 are again going to suffer in 1998/99 due to the significant reduction in sorghum and millet production. These people will continue to need food assistance at some periods during the coming nine to twelve months.

WFP has recently approved a development project aimed at increasing food security in five food deficit regions in the country, through food for work; a second project targeting school children is being processed. However, these projects may not be implemented in time to assist those households currently affected and the current EMOP may need to be extended until end-April 1999. In the meantime, planning for the implementation of the development projects will be closely linked with the relief operation to ensure that a recovery programme is in place by early 1999.

4.4.1 Food aid targeting

The most serious food deficits are in the central regions. Since the beginning of EMOP No. 5889, WFP in partnership with Norwegian People’s Aid, Oxfam and SCF/UK has established a system of targeting and monitoring, particularly focused on these regions. The monitoring of the food security in these areas has been structured in two phases and the following are some points that need to be highlighted in the context of the present report:

a) Geographical targeting: The identification of the affected areas has been carried out in collaboration with Government officials from January to May 1998 in order to make systematic use of existing information and field reports as well as to organize standardized assessments in the field. Results have been systematically analysed and discussed in order to identify and commonly agree on the particularly affected areas likely to be in need of food aid. The share of information with Government officials is crucial to guarantee a follow-up and an ongoing update of the information on these areas during the coming months. In fact, although further assessments are needed and experienced staff will be required in order to capture the impact of coping mechanisms on the food shortages, the information collected at district level on a permanent basis is essential for a constant fine-tuning of the geographical targeting before any food aid intervention is planned.

b) The geographical areas are well identified in Dodoma rural, Dodoma urban and Kondoa districts in Dodoma region, Iramba, Manyoni in Singida rural in Singida region, Igunga, Nzega, Sikonge, Urambo in Tabora region as well as Maswa, Meatu and Shinyanga rural in Shinyanga region. Villages most at risk have been identified and categorized.

c) Preliminary findings of the geographical targeting and the first phase of assessments at village level give an approximate population likely to be in need of food aid estimated at around 300-350 000 people. On a basis of a six-month intervention - from October 1998 to March 1999 - up to 20 000 MT could be required but this will not be confirmed until August.

d) At present, WFP and NGOs involved in preliminary geographical targeting are in process of undertaking a more in-depth analysis of the coping mechanisms available in the current season in those particularly affected districts. This requires an accurate survey system in the already identified areas in order to move to the household level analysis. Results of such analysis will allow WFP and Government to optimise the allocation of food resources available for food relief in the coming months. Financial resources as well as a dynamic collaborative approach is needed to concretise the efforts started with the monitoring of EMOP 5889.

e) On the basis of the assessments undertaken in the past two months, it is clear that in any case for the current marketing year (1998/99) it is unlikely that further amounts of food aid will have to be imported into the country. Any targeted needs could be covered from yet unallocated food commodities available to WFP

Table 6: Food Aid Targeting

Region: Food Deficit Areas: No. of affected People: Duration of food aid:
Dodoma 115 villages in Dodoma Rural, Dodoma Urban and Kondoa districts To be assessed Jan.-May, 1999
Singida - 37 800 households in 5 Divisions of Singida Rural District. To be assessed October 1998-March 98
Singida - Shelui Division in Iramba District 12 500 October 1998-March 98
Tabora 204 villages in Igunga, Sikonge and Nzega District To be assessed To be assessed
Shinyanga Maswa, Meatu To be assessed To be assessed
Coast Bagamoyo, Rufiji 26,000 Oct., Nov., Dec.
Mwanza Magu and Kwimba districts To be assessed To be assessed
Arusha Simanjiro, Kiteto and Karatu districts To be assessed To be assessed
Kilimanjaro Same as Mwanga districts To be assessed To be assessed

 

4.4.2 Project food aid

In other regions with limited or marginal food deficits it is envisaged that project food aid through Food-for-Work and institutional feeding could bridge the food gaps.

It is for this purpose that food aid under the recently approved FFW project TAN 5975 and the future school feeding project would be mobilised to satisfy the needs in some of the chronic food deficit areas.

4.4.3 Transport and logistics update

Unprecedented heavy rains which fell on much of Tanzania during the months of November, December and January resulted in severe flooding and the collapse of the transport network. Major disruptions to rail services, damage to trunk and feeder roads in addition to complete collapse of bridges had serious repercussions for populations living in the food deficit areas. This had a major effect on the availability and cost of essential commodities and on the value of their cash crops and saleable assets. It seriously hampered relief efforts and rendered the transfer of any food surpluses impossible, as a result of the prohibitive cost of transport, when available.

Considerable work has been done during the past months to restore the main rail and road corridors but to date the railway is disrupted and work ongoing on many of the trunk and feeder roads. Although accessibility has improved considerably since March/April of this year, transportation is still problematic and extremely expensive.

This situation will have a very negative impact on `the movement of food from surplus to food deficit areas. The main surplus regions in the south will move supplies southwards, rather than transport at high cost to the central regions.

The food relief assistance has to be stored closer to the beneficiaries for a continuing distribution, even if the main access roads are disrupted. To this effect, the WFP storage and rail/road siding in Dodoma is the appropriate infrastructure that will enable the pre-positioning of stocks up to 1 500 tonnes.

Additional temporary storage tents will be installed in selected places depending on the distribution plan and the geographical location of the distribution sites.


5. REGIONAL ANALYSIS



5.1 North-Eastern Zone

The North-Eastern zone comprises the regions of Coast, Tanga, Morogoro, Arusha, and Kilimanjaro. The rainfall pattern varies from one region to another but generally most of the area has a bimodal rainfall regime.

5.1.1 Coast Region

The Vuli rains started early in the 1997/98 season around August and therefore caught farmers unaware leading to a decrease in areas of production in almost all food crops. The Masika rains came in late April but stopped abruptly causing great losses, affecting especially maize and other cereals. Moreover, rodents caused important losses of the maize crop in the 1997/98 Vuli season, especially in Bagamoyo district.

5.1.2 Morogoro

Much of the planted crop was washed away by heavy Masika rains, resulting in two to three times replanting negatively impacting expected yield. The situation was further aggravated by an outbreak of rodents in Morogoro rural district. The food production is estimated to drop by 31 percent from last year. Millet/sorghum and pulses are the most affected crops, but paddy production is up. Nevertheless, farmers’ incomes from livestock and cash crops (coffee, cotton and sugarcane) will allow population’s access to staple food.

5.1.3 Tanga

The Masika rains started late in April, instead of 15 March, and stopped abruptly at the end of May/early June. Due to the short rainy period, the area planted has decreased notably for maize, cassava and beans, while heavy rains negatively affected maize and pulses yields.

Livestock is satisfactory conditions as a result of good pasture and adequate water supplies.

The current food supply situation is satisfactory due to a good previous "Vuli" harvest and supplies from the neighbouring regions. Food prices in the market are lower than the same period last year but, however, are increasing due to the poor Masika harvest.

5.1.4 Arusha

This bi-modal rainfall region is the largest region in Tanzania with 10 districts and an estimated population of about 1.8 million out of which 72 percent are agro-pastoralists.

The Masika season, which normally starts in March, overlapped with the Vuli rains, which continued uninterrupted until March 1998. Rains were well above normal until mid May This hampered land preparation and planting and led to reductions in area normally planted. The excessive rains also resulted in unusually high levels of weeds and pest attacks, negatively affecting yield potential.

Abundant water supplies and pastures due to heavy rains have benefited livestock.

The current food supply situation appears satisfactory except for localised pockets in districts of Karatu, Kiteto and Simanjiro.

5.1.4 Kilimanjaro

This bi-modal region comprises 6 districts with a population of 1.1 million.

Heavy and continuous rains resulted in excessive weeds hampering planting operations. The excessive precipitation also reduced crops yield potential, in particular of maize and beans. Also the main cash crop coffee production will be lower due to heavy rains during blossom / setting stage. By contrast, bananas and roots and tubers have flourished and a bumper banana crop is expected.

The good rains benefited livestock due to good pasture and adequate water supplies. As a result the cattle prices have dropped substantially from Tsh. 100 000 per head during December to Tsh. 40 000.

Overall, food supply situation in the region is satisfactory. However, a few isolated pockets exist notably in areas which are located on the high slopes and lowland areas of Hedaru , Makanya, Kihurio, Ruvu and Mferejini, where complete failure of maize and beans has been reported.

5.2 Central Zone

The central corridor of Tanzania comprising the regions of Dodoma, Singida and Tabora has a unimodal rainfall pattern with an average of 400-800 mm a year. Rainfall is distributed over six months between November and April/May over 40-60 days. The main foodcrops in the area are cereals, (sorghum, millet, maize, paddy) and roots and tubers (cassava, sweat potatoes). The major cash crops include groundnuts and sunflower in Dodoma and cotton and tobacco in Singida and Tabora.

Some 712 000 people in the Central Zone were targeted for emergency food aid assistance in 1997/98 due to drought in the main 1997 crop season and floods at Vuli time. However, due to the devastation of roads and bridges by El Niño-caused floods, which cut off hundreds of villages, only 50 percent of the affected households were accessible. These are the very same households who have now suffered a very poor sorghum/millet harvest and will experience food difficulties if not assisted. Households are selling their livestock to obtain cash to buy food, which has resulted in a slump of animal prices by 50 percent from their normal levels. Several pockets of food shortage are reported in Iramba District in Singida Region, in Dodoma Rural, in Dodoma Urban and the northern part of Kondoa district in Dodoma Region. In Tabora, food-deficit districts include Nzega, Sikonge, Tabora, Urambo and Igunga.

5.2.1 Dodoma

Dodoma comprises five districts (Mpwapwa, Dodoma Rural, Dodoma Urban, Kongwa, Kondoa), with an estimated population of 1.66 million in 1998. Rainfall and crop patterns are unimodal.

The first 1997/98 rains set in mid-November and continued until March, without the normal February dry spell. Rains were unusually abundant and even excessive leading to widespread flooding, with adverse effects on yields.

Total area planted to food crops increased over the previous drought year by 18 percent particularly for maize, rice and root and tubers crops. This compensated a decline in yields of cereals, which also suffered from pest infestations

Total food crop production in cereal weight equivalent is estimated 15 percent over the poor harvest of the preceding drought year with an increase in maize production but declines in those of millet and sorghum.

Improved outputs of cash crops (groundnuts, sesame, sunflower and grapes) and good conditions of livestock (the Region is a major livestock supplier to the Dar es Salaam market) reflecting good grazing and ample forage will generally improve farmers’ incomes. However, those households relying heavily on millet and sorghum production may need food assistance in a few months. A joint Government/WFP assessment in 25 percent of all villages indicates that the 1997/98 cereal production will cover only six months or less of consumption.

5.2.2 Tabora

Tabora region is divided into six districts with an estimated population of 1.3 million.

In 1997/98 crop seasons the rainfall was 80 percent above normal, resulting in widespread flooding and damage to infrastructure notably roads and bridges. Fields were inaccessible and the cultivated areas declined for some crops compared to normal levels, in particular for maize and pulses. By contrast, paddy production went up sharply as plentiful water supply encouraged farmers to increase planting and greatly improved yields. Overall, food production declined from last year.

However, the heavy rainfall favoured livestock, an important activity in the region, as pastures and grazing became plentiful. Livestock sales have increased to compensate this year’s fall in crop production and prices of animals have declined sharply. Preliminary assessment suggests that as many as 222 villages in the region need food assistance immediately.

5.2.3 Singida

Singida region consists of four districts: Iramba, Manyoni, Singida rural and Singida urban with a total population of 1.0 million.

In 1997/98 rains started normally in November 1997; however, the intensity was such that by the end of December 1997 all the districts had recorded almost their entire share of normal annual precipitation. The excessive rainfall continued until April/May causing widespread flooding throughout the region which resulted in a decline in the planted area and yields reductions.

Singida region is amongst the leading livestock regions in Tanzania with a cattle herd of around 1.4 million. Abundant rains this year have favoured pastures and water supplies for livestock.

A preliminary joint Government/WFP/Save the Children Fund (UK) field assessment forecast critical food deficit for 26 590 households in Ihanja, Ikungi, Mangaa and Mungumaji divisions, and for 37,860 households in Ilongero, Mgori, Mtinko, Sepuka and Unyankumi divisions.

5.3 Lake Zone

The Lake Zone comprises the five regions of Mwanza, Shinyanga, Kagera, Mara and Kigoma. Except for some unimodal areas in Shinyanga, most of the Lake Zone has a bimodal pattern of rainfall.

5.3.1 Mwanza

Mwanza region is made up of seven districts, namely, Mwanza (Urban and Rural), Kwimba, Magu, Geita, Ukerewe, Sengerema and Misungwi. The main staple is maize, supplemented with sorghum, rice and sweet potatoes. The main cash crop is cotton, although paddy is also becoming a cash crop. Livestock production, particularly cattle plays a major role in the economy of the region.

The production of maize, sorghum and cotton was reduced by excessive rains during the season, which however benefited production of paddy and sweet potatoes.

Livestock production benefited from improved pastures and water availability.

The food security situation in the region during the 1998/99 marketing year is expected to be good in almost all the districts with the exception of Magu and Kwimba which are expected to face food shortages in late October/early November to late March 1999.

5.3.2 Shinyanga

Shinyanga region is made up of six districts, namely Shinyanga (Urban and Rural), Maswa, Bariadi, Meatu, Kahama and Bukombe. The main staple foods are maize and sorghum/millet, with cassava and sweet potatoes serving as emergency of food security crops. Paddy though grown widely in almost all the districts is more a cash than a food crop. Other cash crops are cotton and tobacco. Livestock play a central role in the livelihood and economy of the inhabitants.

Crop production during the season was affected by excessive rains, pests and diseases. Floods mainly affected maize -except in high altitudes- and cotton. For paddy, a bumper harvest is expected.

Livestock production benefited from improved availability of pasture and water.

The food security situation in the region is currently satisfactory, although food shortages are expected to be experienced in late October in food deficit districts of Shinyanga and Maswa districts.

5.3.3 Kagera

Kagera region comprises of Bukoba, Karagwe, Biharamulo, Muleba and Ngara districts. Situated in the North Western part of the country, Kagera region has a bimodal rainfall pattern. The main staple food for the larger part of the population is bananas, but in some districts is maize. Cassava and sweet potatoes are widely consumed in times of food shortage. Livestock are important for the supply of milk and milk products, but also for the supply of farmyard manure.

Crop production during the 1997/98 was generally good, particularly for the banana crop favoured by abundant rains, but also for sweet potatoes, especially in high areas.

The food security situation in the region during the 1998/99 marketing season is expected to be good in almost all the districts, with the exception of a few areas of Ngara district and parts of Bukoba Rural district affected by floods.

5.3.4 Mara

Mara region is made up of four districts, namely, Musoma (Urban and Rural), Bunda, Serengeti and Tarime. Cash crops are cotton, coffee, tobacco and groundnuts. Livestock production plays a major role in the livelihood and economy of the people.

Abundant rains during the season favoured production of paddy and sweet potatoes, but adversely affected cotton and cassava crops, particularly in low-lying fields. Farmers switch from traditional cash or food crops to paddy.

The abundant rains of the season also favoured pastures and livestock conditions.

The overall food security situation is currently good, but food shortages are anticipated in chronically food-deficit areas of Musoma Rural and Tarime later in the year.

5.3.5 Kigoma

The region comprises the district of Kigoma, Kasulu and Kibondo, with an estimated population of 1.1 million people, including some 306 000 refugees from Burundi, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Kigoma region has a unimodal rainfall pattern. The food crop production was severely reduced by heavy rains. However, good livestock and cash crops production will provide coping mechanisms for the fall in foodcrops output.


5.4 Southern Highlands

The Southern Highlands - at an altitude of between 1,500 and 2,000 metres above sea level - comprise Iringa, Mbeya, Rukwa and Ruvuma regions, which are Tanzania’s maize belt. The Southern Highlands are. The area enjoys a unimodal rainfall regime with an average rainfall of about 2 000 mm.

5.4.1 Iringa

The region is divided into five districts namely Iringa, Njombe, Ludewa, Makete and Mufindi. Abundant rains during the season generally favoured foodcrops production.

5.4.2 Mbeya

Mbeya region, is one of the major grains producing areas in the country. It comprises Mbeya, Rungwe, Mbozi, Kyela, Chunya and Ileje districts. On average, the region receives rainfall ranging from 800mm to 2 600mm annually, being favourable for a number of food and cash crops. The livestock sub-sector plays a key role in supplementing sources of food, income and traction power as well as manure mostly for small-scale farmers.

Continued rains during the season reduced plantings and yield potential for maize and bean crops, particularly along the lowland areas where floods were experienced. In middle to highland areas production is satisfactory. Mbeya is one of the food self-sufficient regions in the country.

The widespread rain in the region has generally favoured pastures and animals are reported to be in good conditions.

5.4.3 Rukwa

Rukwa region has three districts, i.e. Mpanda, Nkansi and Sumbawanga.

Due to heavy and continuous rains this season the main maize crop is estimated reduced. By contrast, a bumper rice harvest is expected.

Food difficulties are likely to be faced by some 70 000 people in the divisions of Kipeta, Mtowisa and Matai towards November this year.

5.4.4 Ruvuma

Ruvuma region has three districts namely, Songea, Mbinga and Tunduru. Continued and excessive rainfall caused flooding in low-lying areas and provided favourable conditions for crop diseases especially on maize. Seed is the most pressing problem in Ruvuma region. Late delivery of seed and poor quality has drastically affected yields. Despite an availability of fertilizers this season, utilisation has been on the low side due to lack of effective demand and distribution problems.

5.5 Southern Zone

This zone comprises the unimodal regions of Lindi and Mtwara. Important food crops include cassava, maize, sorghum, paddy and pulses. The economies of these regions depend on cashew nuts, which is a leading cash crop followed by coconut, simsim and cotton. Except for cashew nuts and cotton, the use of agricultural inputs is virtually nil.

The two regions are generally food insecure, mainly due to low food crop production levels. The low usage of farm inputs for majority of farmers has always led to marginal yields, while lack of mechanization facilities lead to small acreage cultivated.

5.5.1 Lindi

Compared to last year, the area planted to maize dropped by 25 percent, while maize production decreased by 27 percent. The area under paddy cultivation increased by 54 percent and, due to better yields, production more than doubled. Due to more emphasis put by the Regional authorities on growing drought resistance crops, following the droughts in previous years, the areas planted and production of sorghum increased significantly in 1998. Food shortages could emerge in some areas, notably in Lindi rural district.

5.5.2 Mtwara Region

.

During 1997/98 season, rains started in October, much earlier than in normal seasons, and continued up to June with heavy precipitation and floods in lowlands. This resulted in a decline in total food production, with a sharp decrease in the area planted more than offsetting good yields.

So far the food supply situation is not alarming except for Mtwara rural district which is expected to experience food shortage during 1997/98 crop season, specifically Ziwani, Manyanga, Mpapula and Kitaya.


6. MEDIUM TO LONG-TERM MEASURES


Following its overall assessment as reported above, the Mission would like to put on record the following concerns.

6.1 Identification of vulnerable households and persons

The Mission was in general positively impressed by the quality of the surveys undertaken so far to identify food-deficit villages and households, notwithstanding some shortcomings, which are normal in such exercises. The Mission would urge the donor community to facilitate the rapid execution of the second phase of this assessment for the timely identification of the population with inadequate coping mechanisms to deal with current food shortages over the next 12 months.

6.2 Provision of seeds and other inputs for the next season

During the current cropping season, donors supported an important seeds and inputs programme. However, this appears to have fallen short of requirements. Further international financial support is needed to ensure the development and implementation of such a programme in time for the next planting season which begins in October 1998, particularly for adequate maize seeds and pesticides to face the outbreak of rodents. Such a programme could be developed in cooperation with the Government, making use of the existing local donor consultative mechanism on food and agriculture, led by FAO and WFP.

6.3 Improvement of food crop assessment statistics methodology and procedures

The agricultural data provided by three different sources from the Ministry of Agriculture present great discrepancies, resulting from diverse approaches to data collection and analytical methodology. The Statistics Unit normally produces estimates of area planted and yield figures through crop cutting method, whereas the FSD produces production forecasts, based on area planted as determined by the master sample survey (540 villages out of about 8,000) in the country and yield levels computed from the Water Balance Model. The Regional Agricultural and Livestock Development Officers (RALDOs) also produce parallel production data collected from villages by Village Extension Workers (VEW) and aggregated to Division, District and later to Regional levels. In order to harmonise the various data collecting units as a way to minimise data multiplicity, the Ministry of Agriculture is currently rationalising its activities, including formation of Agricultural Information System. The main focus will be on establishing data collection systems at District level and channelling data to the Ministry’s HQs through the zonal coordinating offices.

The Mission strongly supports the effort of improving food crop statistics and information, through harmonizing methodologies and streamlining data collection and analysis procedures. There is also an urgent need for undertaking a new national agricultural census. In addition, consideration should be given to exploring the feasibility of making more operational use of the assessment methodology on household food economies developed and applied by the Save the Children Fund (UK) in support of assessment efforts aimed at identifying vulnerable populations. These issues should be taken up by the working group established under the local FAO/WFP donor committee on food and agriculture.

 

 

This report is prepared on the responsibility of the FAO and WFP Secretariats with information from official and unofficial sources. Since conditions may change rapidly, please contact the undersigned for further information if required.
Abdur Rashid
Chief, GIEWS FAO
Telex 610181 FAO I
Fax: 0039-06-5705-4495
E-mail:GIEWS1@FAO.ORG
Mohamed Zejjari
Regional Director, OSA, WFP
Telex: 626675 WFP 1
Fax: 0039-06-6513-2839
E-Mail: Mohamed.Zejjari@WFP.ORG

The Special Alerts/Reports can also be received automatically by E-mail as soon as these are published, subscribing to the GIEWS/Alerts report ListServ. To do so, please send an E-mail to the FAO-Mail-Server at the following address: mailserv@mailserv.fao.org, leaving the subject blank, with the following message:

subscribe GIEWSAlerts-L

To be deleted from the list, send the message: unsubscribe GIEWSAlerts-L

 


TOC Return to menu