Africa report

SWAZILAND

Area: 17 000 sq.km
Climate: Highland rainy climate. One rainy season (October-April); cool temperatures in May-September
Population: 0.83 million (1995 estimate); G.N.P. per caput: U.S.$ 1 050 (1993)
Specific characteristics of the country: Low-income food-deficit country; land-locked country
Logistics: Good road network; imports through Mozambique or South Africa
Major foodcrops: Maize
Marketing year: May/April; Lean season: February-April
Share of cereals in total calorie intake: 55 percent


CURRENT SITUATION

The first rains of the 1995/96 season were received in the first dekad of October, which is later than normal but rains picked up in November and have been so far above normal in the Middleveld and Lubombo. The planting of maize, which normally accounts for over 90 percent of the aggregate cereal production, was completed in December and the crops are reported in good condition. Input availability appears to be adequate but utilization will partly depend on farmers' access to credit which may be affected by the ongoing restructuring of the banking system.

The food supply situation remains tight as a result of the poor 1994/95 crop, particularly in the Lowveld, dry Middle Veld and parts of the Lubombo Plateau which were seriously affected by the drought. Following the government's April 1995 appeal to the international community for drought assistance, the relief programme started in July with government purchases of maize for the needy. International food aid began to arrive in the country in October and 6 000 tons of maize, as well as 300 tons of beans have been received so far.



CEREAL SUPPLY/DEMAND BALANCE FOR THE 1995/96 MARKETING YEAR (in thousand tons)

Wheat Rice Coarse grains Total
Normal production 1 2 116 119
Normal imports (incl. re-exports) 25 2 20 47
of which: Structural food aid 8 - 1 9
1995 Domestic availability 3 1 72 76
1995 Production - 1 70 71
Possible stock drawdown 3 - 2 5
1995/96 Utilization 38 9 122 169
Food use 38 9 102 149
of which: local purchase requirements - - (9) (9)
Non-food use - - 18 18
Cross border exports - - 2 2
1995/96 Import Requirement 35 8 50 93
Anticipated commercial imports 35 8 41 84
Food aid needs - - 9 9
of which: Emergency - - 9 9
Current Aid Position
Food aid pledges - - 6 6
of which: Delivered - - 6 6
Donor-financed local purchases - - 9 9
Estimated per caput consumption (kg/year) 44 11 119 174
Indexes
1995 production as % of normal: 60
1996 import requirement as % of normal: 198
1996 food aid requirement as % of normal (including refugee needs): 100

TOC