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SPECIAL REPORT: FAO/WFP CROP AND FOOD SUPPLY ASSESSMENT MISSION TO MOZAMBIQUE, MAY 1996


OVERVIEW

An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission visited Mozambique from 15 to 30 April 1996 to estimate the 1995/96 output of foodcrops in the country and project the 1996/97 food import and food aid requirements. Mission members traveled extensively and visited all the 10 provinces in the country. This year the Mission was joined by observers from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). The Mission received full cooperation from relevant Government departments as well as from local donor representatives and Non-Governmental Organizations based in the country.

The Mission estimates that the total area planted to cereals and other foodcrops during the 1995/96 production year reached some 3.4 million hectares, 2.7 percent larger than in the previous year. Plantings in some areas were limited by a scarcity of seeds, caused by last year's drought, and by the need for successive re-plantings, due to an irregular pattern of rains.

The 1995/96 main season in most parts of the country was characterized by above average levels of precipitation, particularly during the second half of January and the beginning of February. Excessive rains during that period caused floods that washed away or submerged some 170 000 hectares of foodcrops, including 105 000 hectares of maize along the rivers or in other lowlands. Therefore, the total area to be harvested this year is expected to be 2.4 percent lower than in 1994/95. The most affected provinces are Zambezia, Sofala, Gaza, and Maputo.

Total 1995/96 production of cereals is provisionally estimated at 1.375 million tons, 22 percent above last year, and about 75 percent higher than the 1993/94 harvest, when the country was hit by a severe drought. The increase is a result of much higher average yields that will more than compensate for the reduction in the area harvested. Production of cassava, the other major staple, has also increased substantially (13 percent). The production of beans is expected to be only moderately higher (4 percent) than last year.

The overall national food supply situation in the 1996/97 marketing year (April/March) is expected to improve considerably, particularly in the North and the Centre. Those provinces are expected to be roughly self-sufficient in basic foodstuffs and will even generate higher marketable surpluses of maize than during the previous marketing year.

The total cereal import requirement in 1996/97 (May/April) is estimated at 300 000 tons, some 43 percent below the imports (commercial and food aid) registered during the 1995/96 marketing year. This estimate includes an import requirement of about 77 000 tons of maize. This estimate is based on the assumption that all the surplus maize (probably more than 300 000 tons) from the North and Centre could be mobilized for the deficit areas of the South. However, as it has been the experience in the past, it is unlikely that those transfers will materialize, given the present state of transport and commercial networks. In this case, the total maize import requirement could end up being higher than currently estimated.

The Mission estimates that some 140 000 tons of cereals (mostly wheat and rice) could be imported commercially. Some 160 000 tons would be needed as food aid to stabilize the market and to provide direct assistance to farmers that experienced losses as a result of the floods as well as farmers, including recently re-settled population, that have experienced reductions in their crops due to adverse weather conditions.

The Mission estimates that an average of 154 000 people will need approximately 24 948 tons of maize and 2 217 tons of pulses as emergency food aid assistance during the 1996/97 marketing year. Most of the emergency cereal food aid requirements for direct distribution and food for work projects could be met with local purchases in surplus areas, mainly in the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia, Manica, Niassa and Tete. Donors are urged to make all possible efforts to purchase these surpluses early in the marketing year. There is also a need to monitor carefully local prices of cereals, so as to guide the right timing and location of interventions.


FOOD PRODUCTION IN 1995/96

Rainfall was abundant and relatively well distributed until the end of March in the northern and central provinces of Niassa, Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia, Tete, Manica and Sofala, which normally account for more than 80 percent of the cereals and pulse crops. This favoured early planted and shorter cycle cereal and beans and their yields are expected to be similar or better than last year. However, there is concern regarding the outcome of late planted and longer cycle cereals and second season crops as a result of the abrupt interruption of the rains.

In the southern provinces of Inhambane, Gaza and Maputo, the 1995/96 first season was delayed, with an irregular distribution of rains and with a dry spell and extremely high temperatures during the first half of January. This irregular pattern forced to successive re-plantings and seriously affected first season cereals in most of those areas that were not covered by the floods.

Total maize production in 1995/96 is estimated at 947 200 tons, some 200 000 tons (29 percent) above last year's output. The increase in production reflects a 34 percent increase in yields, partly offset by a 10 percent reduction in the area harvested. A total of 105 000 hectares of maize are estimated to have been lost because of the floods. Two-thirds of the increase in maize production will be accounted for by the large increases in yields registered in the provinces of Tete and Manica, where maize output is expected to be more than double in relation to the drought affected levels of the previous year. Other provinces that will register large increases in maize production are Inhambane (+34 percent), Niassa (+22 percent), Nampula (+18 percent) and Gaza (+16 percent). In the case of Gaza, the increase would have been much larger were it not for the large area lost through floods. Other provinces, notably Sofala and Zambezia, will also register fairly large increases in average maize yields but total production increases will be limited due to the heavy losses caused by the floods. In the province of Maputo maize output is forecast to fall by 25 percent, mostly as a result of the crop damage by floods.

Aggregate 1995/96 production of sorghum and millet is forecast at 288 000 tons, some 4 percent higher than the previous year. The growth mostly reflects a marginal increase in average yields. The absence of rains since March in Cabo Delgado and Niassa will affect yields and the aggregate production of sorghum and millet is expected to fall by around 30 percent in those two provinces. By contrast, in the central and southern provinces of Tete, Manica, Sofala and Inhambane, sorghum and millet yields are expected to increase by more than 30 percent in relation to the drought affected levels of the previous year.

Paddy production in 1995/96 is forecast at 139 400 tons, 23 percent higher than in 1994/95. The growth in production reflects an increase of 5 percent in the area to be harvested and 18 percent increase in average yields. The crop was favoured by better weather conditions than those prevailing in the previous year when rainfall was insufficient and irregular in the main rice producing areas. More than half of the increase in the production of paddy will be registered in the province of Zambezia, where paddy output is expected to increase by almost 30 percent relative to the previous year. Large increases are also expected in Nampula and Sofala.

The total production of beans is expected to reach some 140 000 tons, only 4 percent higher than the relatively low level of the previous year. Increases in yields will be partially offset by a reduction of about 3 percent in the areas to be harvested as a consequence of the floods. By contrast, the production of groundnuts is expected to increase by almost 15 percent to a total of 117 200 tons. The increase mostly reflects better yields, due to more favourable weather conditions in most growing areas. About two-thirds of the increase in groundnut production will be registered in the province of Inhambane. By contrast, groundnut production in Cabo Delgado is expected to fall by more than 38 percent, mostly because of lower yields caused by the absence of rains since March.

The total output of cassava is estimated at some 4.733 million tons (fresh roots), some 13 percent higher than in 1994/95. The increase mostly reflects higher yields, thanks to the more favourable weather conditions in all production areas. Almost 60 percent of the increase in the national production of cassava will be registered in the province of Nampula. Large increases are also expected in the main producing provinces of Cabo Delgado, Niassa, Zambezia and Inhambane.

Table 1: Mozambique - 1995/96 Food Production Forecast by Province ('000 tons)

Province Maize Paddy Sorghum Millet Total cereals Beans Ground-nuts Cassava
Cabo Delgado 81.1 8.8 24.1 1.5 115.5 17.6 10.5 665.6
Niassa 162.7 1.4 21.4 0.9 186.4 22.7 1.7 120.5
Nampula 101.0 24.3 77.8 3.5 206.6 27.7 37.3 2 317.3
Zambezia 183.8 72.2 34.8 5.5 296.3 25.0 16.4 1 146.7
Tete 92.3 0.1 15.1 7.5 115.0 6.5 2.9 3.6
Manica 154.6 0.1 19.2 6.1 180.0 1.0 1.8 3.1
Sofala 64.4 19.4 34.8 6.4 125.0 7.8 4.1 63.4
Inhambane 65.5 2.1 17.1 7.7 92.4 18.1 33.4 293.1
Gaza 26.6 6.5 2.5 1.6 37.2 8.3 5.2 101.7
Maputo 15.2 4.5 0.7 20.4 5.2 3.9 18.1
Total 95/96 947.2 139.4 247.5 40.7 1 374.8 139.9 117.2 4 733.1
Total 94/95 733.8 113.4 243.3 35.4 1 125.9 134.2 102.1 4 177.5
Change 1995/96 over 1994/95 (percent) 29.1 22.9 1.7 15.0 22.1 4.3 14.7 13.3

FOOD SUPPLY/DEMAND SITUATION

Overall, the national food supply situation in 1996/97 is expected to improve considerably over the previous marketing year. The total production of cereals is estimated to increase by about 22 percent over the previous year. Furthermore, the output of other important foodcrops like cassava and groundnuts is expected to increase by 13 percent and 15 percent, respectively, over the previous year.

The carryover stocks of cereals are estimated to be negligible at the beginning of the 1996/97 marketing year, in part due to the drought-reduced harvest in 1994/95, which was for consumption in the 1995/96 marketing year, and the low financial and physical storage capacity of traders. In general, the trading system continues to be extremely weak and the storage and stock management capacity of local traders is very low. Thus, it can be assumed that, in general, very few farmers and traders hold any significant amount of grain and there is little scope for stock draw-down in 1996/97. In addition Mozambican farmers' production is normally insufficient to cover all their annual food needs and their cereal stocks are usually exhausted by December/January, 3-4 months before the next harvest. In addition, many farmers sell a large portion of their maize and paddy output immediately after the harvest to obtain some cash to cover other food and non-food needs. This behaviour is also the result of the difficulties experienced during the civil war. Cash is easier to store and hide in case of raids and can be easily transported if the family has to leave their farm/home in search of personal security.

The total cereal import requirement in 1996/97 (May/April) is estimated at 300 000 tons, some 43 percent below the imports (commercial and food aid) registered during the 1995/96 marketing year. The total cereal import requirement includes an import requirement of about 77 000 tons of maize. These estimates assume that all surplus production from the North and Centre will be transferred to cover the large deficit in the South. In addition, it has been assumed that the population will adjust their structure of consumption to the availability of food. Therefore, farmers would compensate eventual deficits in their own production of cereals with increased consumption of alternative sources of food such as fruit and vegetables, game and fish, potatoes and sweet potatoes, groundnuts and, above all, cassava, since the output of all those products is expected to increase largely in most areas of the country. Most of the farmers that had reductions in maize production will increase their consumption of cassava, mainly in Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia, Inhambane and Niassa. In addition, in many parts of these Provinces, farmers consider cassava as their main staple and use a considerable volume of their maize as a cash crop.

The Mission estimates that out of the total cereal import requirement, approximately 140 000 tons will be covered by commercial imports, including 70 000 tons of wheat and 60 000 tons of rice. Food aid requirements are estimated at 160 000 tons of cereals, including 135 000 tons of programme or project aid and 25 000 tons of emergency food aid.

The national foodgrain balance sheet is shown in Table 2, with regional breakdown given in Table 3.

Table 2: Mozambique - Foodgrain Balance Sheet, 1996/97 (thousand tons)

Maize Rice Wheat Sorghum & Millet TOTAL CEREALS Pulses
DOMESTIC AVAILABILITY 947 91 0 288 1 326 140
Stock drawdown
1995/96 Production 947 91 - 288 1 326 140
UTILIZATION 1996/97 1 024 174 140 288 1 626 164
Food Use 1/ 910 167 133 253 1 463 150
Other Uses 114 7 7 35 163 14
IMPORT REQUIREMENTS 77 83 140 - 300 24
Commercial Imports 10 60 70 140 10
Food Aid Requirements 67 23 70 160 14
of which: project/programme 42 23 70 135 12
emergency 25 25 2
per caput consump. kg/yr 50.0 9.2 7.3 13.9 80.4 8.2

1/ Annual per caput consumption of maize, 50 kg; rice, 9.2 kg; wheat, 7.3 kg; sorghum and millet, 13.9 kg; and pulses, 8.2 kg.

Table 3 - Foodgrain Balance Sheet 1996/97 - By Region (thousand tons)

North Region: (Population: 5.8 million)

Maize Rice Wheat Sorghum & Millet Total Cereals Pulses Ground-nuts Cassava
DOMESTIC AVAILABILITY 345 22 - 129 496 68 50 3 103
Stock drawdown
1995/96 Production 345 22 - 129 496 68 50 3 103
UTILIZATION 1996/97 146 23 18 129 316 68 50 3 103
Food Use 133 20 17 112 282 56 43 2 172
Other Uses 13 3 1 17 34 12 7 931
Surplus (+)/Deficit(-) +199 -1 -18 - +180 - - -
Per caput consump. kg/yr 22.9 3.4 3.0 19.3 48.6 9.7 7.4 374.5
Per caput consump. KCal/day 224 33 27 181 466.6 90 109 1 129

Centre Region: (Population: 7.3 million)

Maize Rice Wheat Sorghum & Millet Total Cereals Pulses Ground-nuts Cassava
DOMESTIC AVAILABILITY 464 60 - 133 657 34 25 1 217
Stock drawdown
1995/96 Production 464 60 - 133 657 34 25 1 217
UTILIZATION 1996/97 338 61 30 132 561 47 25 1 217
Food Use 307 53 29 115 504 41 21 852
Other Uses 31 8 1 17 57 6 4 365
Surplus(+)/Deficit(-) +126 -1 -30 +1 +96 -13 - -
Per caput consump. kg/yr 42.0 7.3 4.0 15.7 69.0 5.6 2.9 116.7
Per caput consump. KCal/day 406 71 37 146 660.0 51 44 352

South Region: (Population: 5.1 million)

Maize Rice Wheat Sorghum & Millet Total Cereals Pulses Ground-nuts Cassava
DOMESTIC AVAILABILITY 126 8 - 29 163 32 43 413
Stock drawdown
1995/96 Production 126 8 - 29 163 32 43 413
UTILIZATION 1996/97 517 91 92 29 729 50 43 413
Food Use 470 90 88 25 673 44 37 289
Other Uses 47 1 4 4 56 5 6 124
Surplus(+)/Deficit(-) -391 -83 -92 - -566 -18 - -
Per caput consump. kg/yr 92.2 17.6 17.3 4.9 132.0 8.6 7.2 56.7
Per caput consump. KCal/day 889 172 158 46 1 265.0 79 108 171

SITUATION BY PROVINCE

Niassa

Niassa, situated in the north-eastern corner of Mozambique, is considered to have a high potential for agricultural production because of its favourable rainfall and large areas of good soils. Agricultural production is based on rainfed subsistence agriculture, characterized by inter-cropping of maize, cassava and sorghum with beans. Generally, farmers do not raise livestock and do not use fertilizers or pesticides.

The 1995/96 rainy season started on time, i.e. in November, and continued until mid-March when rains stopped abruptly. The rains were generally fairly well distributed throughout the Province, even in traditionally drought-prone areas, such as Lago (Metangula), Mandimba, Cuamba and Mecanhelas. In some areas, like Ngauma (Itepela), Mandimba and Cuamba, there was an excess of rains that may negatively affect yields.

The estimated harvested area of major food crops is estimated at 247 700 hectares, 2.4 percent above the previous year. Adequate supplies of seeds and tools were provided and returnees were able to increase the area under cultivation during the 1995/96 season. In addition, there has been an increase in the area under cash crops, mainly cotton. Tobacco is also gaining importance, especially in Mandimba district.

The total production of cereals in the province is expected to reach some 186 400 tons. This is 16.7 percent higher than last year, mostly as a result of an increase in the area and average yields of maize, due to more favourable weather conditions. The aggregate production of maize is expected to exceed the normal commercial demand in the Province and some surplus maize could be available to be channeled to other parts of the country.

The food supply situation in 1996/97 is expected to improve considerably in most areas of the Province. However, in some localized areas of Mecanhelas, Nipepe, Cuamba and Ngauma districts, soil fertility is low and the crops were affected by excess rainfall. As a consequence, some families will not be able to harvest and retain sufficient food supplies to meet their requirements in 1996/97.

The Mission recommends emergency food assistance to around 11 000 beneficiaries between November 1996 and April 1997 in Cuamba and Ngamma districts, which have a number of recent returnees.

Cabo Delgado

Situated in the north-east corner of Mozambique and separated from Tanzania by the Ruvuma River, Cabo Delgado is one of the provinces with the highest agricultural potential in the country. The major geographical features influencing production are the coastal plain and networks of tributaries of the rivers Ruvuma, Messaio and Lugenda which create fertile valley bottoms in the interior. Agricultural production is based on rainfed subsistence farming without the use of fertilizers and pesticides. The main crops are cassava, maize, sorghum, rice, beans, groundnuts and millet. Rainfall is usually well distributed and above the requirements for cereal production.

The 1995/96 rainfall season began on time, i.e. late November, and continued with well-distributed rainfall until mid-March, when it phased out. There was a short dry period in January, but not enough to affect the development of the crops. Consequently, yields are expected to be relatively high for all crops.

The total area under cultivation to major foodcrops in 1995/96 is estimated at 345 200 hectares, 2 percent higher than last year. The area planted to maize is estimated to have increased by 4.2 percent, probably because maize is the only cash crop of any importance in the province.

The Mission estimates that the 1995/96 production of cassava, the province's main staple food, will reach some 665 575 tons, 12.3 percent higher than last year. The output of cereals is estimated to be 115 500 tons, including some 81 100 tons of maize, an estimated 4.6 percent above 1994/95 maize production. The aggregate supply of maize is expected to exceed the normal commercial demand in the Province and a surplus of about 10 000-15 000 tons of maize could be available to be channeled to other parts of the country.

Nampula

Nampula Province is situated south of Cabo Delgado and borders Zambezia to the south and Niassa to the west and has a long coastline which includes the port of Nacala. The main staple food crop is sorghum, with cassava being a more important food crop for the sandy soil districts of Memba, Nacala Velha, Mussoril and Mogincual. Rice is an important crop in Moma and Angoche. Cotton is a very important cash crop in the district of Monapo. Maize is also mainly grown as a cash crop. A shortage of cassava planting material, caused by Hurricane Nadia in March, 1994, has still not been made up in parts of Memba, Mussoril and Mogincual, which are difficult to reach, due to broken bridges and poor infrastructure.

The 1995/96 rains were less than normal in the period from September to early November, with only 7.8 mm being recorded at Nampula for both September and October. However, good rains were received during the rest of the season. Cyclone "Bonita" provided increased rainfall in the coastal provinces of Moma, Mogincual, Angoche, Mossuril and Nacala Velha but was reported to have destroyed some 570 hectares of crops, including 150 hectares of cassava. Some rice crops were damaged by temporary flooding in Moma and Angoche Districts. However, the overall effect of the cyclone was probably positive, in providing good rainfall for crops grown on upland areas.

Planted area for first and second crops is estimated at 872 000 hectares, an increase of 1.4 percent over that of the previous year. Most sorghum cultivars grown are tall, long duration types and scarcity of seed of the favoured cultivars was reported to have limited planted area in Ribaue district. Shortage of seed of improved cultivars of groundnuts was also reported. A shortage of hand tools was also reported by farmers consulted by the Mission. This is mainly due to the fact that hand tools are only available in the major centres such as Nampula City. However, over 200 000 hand tools were distributed by the Department of Agriculture and Forests during the year, including 100 000 hoes and 47 000 machetes.

Output of maize is expected to reach 101 000 tons, an increase of almost 18 percent over the previous year. Production of paddy rice, at 24 300 tons, an increase of 20.9 percent over the previous year, while sorghum production is estimated at 77 800 tons, 6.9 percent above the previous year's harvest. Groundnut production increased to 37 300 tons, 15.5 percent above the level achieved in the previous year. Beans were adversely affected by pre-harvest sprouting , but second crops are expected to be very good, given the adequate soil moisture level after a season of good rains. Production of beans is expected to rise to 27 700 tons, a decrease of 3.5 percent over the previous year.

Some cassava crops were damaged by grasshoppers, green mites and mealy bugs and overall production is expected to be 2 317 000 tons of fresh material, an increase of 16.8 percent over 1994/95 production.

The 1995/96 harvest is expected to be one of the best ever, but there are areas within the Province in which there will be food deficits during the marketing year. These areas are situated in the coastal districts of Memba, Mussoril, Nacala-a-Velha and Mogincual, where pockets of drought, shortages of planting materials and poor farming methods are expected to combine to cause local food shortages towards the end of the calendar year. The districts of Monapo, Namapa and Lalaua and Nacaroa are expected to have some food deficit areas after September, with the remainder of the Province having a high level of food security. The food deficit in Monapo is reported to be caused by farmers concentrating too much on the production of the cash crop, cotton, sometimes at the expense of food crops for home consumption.

The Mission recommends the distribution of food aid, mainly in the form of Food-for-Work to an average number of 6 000 beneficiaries in the districts of Memba and Nacala Velha for the period from September to the end of the marketing year.

Zambezia

Zambezia Province is situated in the Northern Zone of Mozambique and borders on Malawi and the provinces of Nampula, Tete and Niassa. It has some of the best agricultural land in the country. Parts of the coastal districts of Pebane, Maganja da Costa and Inhassonge have porous sandy soils. Chinde district, situated in the Zambezi River delta, is subject to drought and occasional flooding.

The rainy season in Zambezia began in the third dekad of November and apart from a dry period in the first dekad of January, continued throughout the growing season. Hurricane "Bonita" which occurred on 12 and 13 January, led to exceptionally heavy rains in the second dekad of January. These heavy rains caused widespread flooding, particularly in the districts of Chinde, Inhassonge, Nicoadala, Namacurra, Maganja da Costa, Mopeia, Ile, Pebane and along the Zambezi River in the inland district of Morrumbala. An estimated 44 200 hectares of crops were lost due to flooding, affecting 83 528 people.

The total area harvested in Zambezia is estimated at 595 900 hectares, a decline of 3.4 percent on the previous year due to Hurricane “Bonita” and by flooding. Crop production is generally very good with paddy production increasing by 28.2 percent to 72 200 tons, compared to the previous year. Maize production is expected to increase to 183 800 tons, an increase of 5.3 percent on the 1995 harvest. Sorghum and millet production are estimated at 34 800 tons and 5 500 tons, up 5.1 percent and 10 percent, respectively, compared to the previous year. Flooding and heavy rains caused some pre-harvest sprouting of beans, but production is expected to be 25 000 tons, an increase of 10.6 percent over the previous year. Cassava production is estimated to rise to 1 147 000 tons, an increase of 7.6 percent over the previous year, despite losses of cropped area in the coastal provinces.

Many farmers grow crops on both lowland and higher land sites and damage to lowland areas in 1996 was partly offset in most districts by higher production on the upland areas. Damage from flooding and from the effects of Hurricane "Bonita" were worst in the district of Maganja da Costa where 10 000 hectares of crops, mainly cassava, were lost. In areas such as Chinde, which has suffered from successive years of drought, losses of 2 000 hectares of crops, affecting 3 900 people, were reported.

Seed shortages for the second season were reported in Chinde district, but steps are being taken to alleviate this situation. There is also a shortage of planting material of cassava and sweet potato in Chinde. It is recommended that the food supply situation in Chinde district be monitored closely over the next few months as food aid may be required by families who lost cassava and other crops. Second crops of beans are expected to be good, in view of the high soil moisture levels after the good rainy season. Overall, production of cereals, pulses and groundnuts in Zambezia is expected to reach 337 700 tons, an increase of 10.3 percent over the previous year and substantial surpluses of maize will be available for sale.

The Mission estimates that an average number of 8 750 persons, mostly affected by floods, will need emergency food assistance especially in the coastal districts.

Tete

Tete Province is situated in the north-western section of the Central Zone, and is bordered by Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe and by Manica Province to the south. It is divided into 12 districts and the city of Tete. The northern districts of Angonia and Tsangano have traditionally been important grain producing areas, assisted by the wide availability of animal traction. Much of the remainder of the province has a low and uncertain rainfall and traditionally depended on livestock raising in addition to crop production. The western districts of Zumbo, Maravia and Magoe have poor links to the rest of the country and a poorly developed economy.

Cattle numbers declined sharply during the war. It is estimated that numbers of cattle in Angonia and Tsangano declined from 100 000 to 15 000, with similar declines in other districts, but numbers are now recovering well. This process will be assisted by the better than average grazing available this year. Numbers of goats are also increasing and there is an active inter-provincial trade in livestock.

There was little rainfall in Tete until the first dekad of December, after which precipitation was much better than average throughout the Province. A dry period in the first dekad of January was followed by generally adequate rainfall for the remainder of the season, especially in the main cropping areas of Angonia, Tsangano and Northern Moatize. Some flooding was reported from Mutarara district and this caused the loss of some maize crops.

The total planted area was 208 300 hectares, an increase of 4.6 percent over the previous year. This was due to increased areas planted by the large numbers of returnees, 800 000 of which returned in the two years to June, 1994. A further 72 899 people returned to Tete in the year to June, 1995. These returnees, who are by now well established, form 70 percent of the provincial population. Another factor behind the increased area planted was that there was an ample supply of seed, some of which was provided by UNHCR, FAO, WFP and NGOs, as well as the Ministry of Agriculture. Farmers in the highly productive districts of Angonia and Tsangano had ample seed stocks carried over from the harvest of 1995.

However, harvested area is estimated at 188 400 hectares, a decrease of almost 5.4 percent over the previous year. This was due to severe losses of maize, sorghum and bean crops from flooding and pest attacks, amounting to an estimated 19 900 hectares, or almost 9.6 percent of the area planted.

Tete has suffered a succession of drought years and farmers have tended to increase the proportion of crops planted along the rivers and in lowland areas. This year, rains were good and considerable areas of lowland crops were lost or damaged by flooding. However, crops grown on high ground benefited from the above average rainfall.

Crop damage from grasshoppers was reported from the districts of Changara, Magoe, Cabora Bassa, Tete City and Moatize. Sorghum and millet crops were worst hit, though 1000 hectares of maize crops were reported affected in Changara District. At the time of the Mission’s visit, the damage by grasshoppers was continuing on some millet and sorghum crops, which were still not ready for harvest. Some farmers harvested early to avoid the pest but may suffer increased storage losses.

Excessive rain caused 5 600 hectares of bean crops to sprout in the pod pre-harvest, mainly in Macanga and Zumbo Districts. An estimated 6 500 families were affected by floods in Mutarara district and 640 hectares of crops, mainly maize, were reported to have been destroyed by floods. Overall, however, less than 10 percent of the increased planted area was damaged by pests and flooding.

Prospects for second season crops of maize and vegetables were good. Supplies of sweet potato vines were available in Mutarara District for the second crop season. Grazing for livestock was the best for several years.

Maize production is estimated at 92 300 tons, 157 percent up on the previous year's harvest. The sorghum crop is estimated at 15 100 tons, an increase of 42.5 percent on 1995 crop. Millet and bean production is estimated at 7 500 tons and 6 500 tons, up 31.6 percent and 32.7 percent, respectively, on the previous year's production.

The northern districts of Angonia, Tsangano, Macanga and the northern half of Moatize are expected to produce a substantial marketable surplus of maize. Elsewhere the situation will be much improved on the previous year, reflecting higher than average rainfall, good grazing conditions for livestock and favourable prospects for second crops of maize, beans, vegetables and sweet potato.

Nevertheless, there would still be a rather large number of former returnees and IDPs, who have been affected by any or all of the flooding or pest attacks which have hit the province. An average number of 31 500 persons will, therefore, receive food assistance, for the most part only from the beginning of 1997.

Manica

Manica Province borders Zimbabwe to the east and the provinces of Gaza, Sofala and Tete. The agriculture of the province is influenced by three major topographical features, a western mountain range, a central plateau and a series of valley bottoms along the Pungwe, Save and Zambezi rivers. There are large areas of fertile soils in the districts of Gondola, Manica and Sussundenga. Tobacco is an important cash crop which is expanding rapidly now with outgrower schemes being made available to farmers surrounding the large privately owned estates. Cashew is an important cash crop in the dry district of Machaze and citrus in Chimoio area.

There were good planting season rains in the third dekad of October and this was followed by a dry period lasting up to the third dekad of November. There was adequate rains in the main production areas in December and then a dry spell in the first dekad of January. In the drier districts to the south and north, including Guro and Machaze, this dry period was extended and caused the loss of some maize crops. Crops which were replanted had good rainfall throughout the remainder of January and February.

Heavy rains in January caused flooding of crops planted in low lying areas in Mechaze District, along the Save River, and in Guro in the north of the Province. However, crops on the higher ground benefited from these rains and yields are expected to be much better than those of the previous year.

Crop damage from Red Locust and Grasshoppers was reported from Guro District and millet and sorghum crops. The heavy rains encouraged very strong weed growth, which could cause severe yield losses on some farms.

Planted area is estimated at 176 300 hectares, an increase of 7.9 percent over the previous year. This was made possible by good planting rains and by timely deliveries of seed and tool kits to dry areas such as Machaze District, which received 19 000 such kits from UNHCR and WFP. Maize is by far the most important food crop, with an estimated 127 900 hectares planted, followed by sorghum, 31 000 hectares of which were planted. The area planted to millet is 11 000 hectares. Beans, rice, groundnuts, and cassava are minor crops with a total estimated area of 6 400 hectares between them.

Maize production is estimated at 154 600 tons, an increase of 103 percent over the previous harvest. The estimated sorghum harvest is 19 200 tons, an increase of some 30 percent over last year's crop of 14 700 tons. Millet production is estimated at 6 100 tons, compared to 4 100 tons in 1995. Yields of maize are expected to average 1.22 tons/hectare, compared to 0.6 tons/hectare in the previous year. Sorghum yields are estimated to be 0.62 tons/hectare, compared to average yields of 0.5 tons/hectare in the previous year.

As of September, 1996, an average of 6 000 persons in Mechaze District will require emergency food assistance as a result of crop losses due to localized flooding of crops.

Sofala

Situated in the Eastern sector of the central zone of Mozambique, the province presents a mixture of about 32 types of soil in a series of strips running North-South, which, in association with a diminishing rainfall pattern from North to East, creates twelve identifiable agro-ecological zones. In consequence, agricultural systems are diverse and production is normally variable. The production year has two seasons, a main season (October - April) and a minor second season from May to September.

The main cereal crops range from rice, in Beira (East) to sorghum and millet in Chemba (North West) with maize planted throughout, but most successfully in the Eastern districts where higher yielding varieties (Manica) are also used. Pulse crops, particularly cow peas and groundnuts, are commonly inter-cropped with cereals, in most districts.

The 1995/96 rainfall season started towards end-November, with a delay of about a month. Precipitation levels were above average throughout the season with heavy rains concentrated during the second dekad of January. The excessive rains caused the overflow of the Zambezi, Pungwe, Buzi and Save rivers, as well as some of their tributaries. The floods washed away or submerged substantial areas planted along the rivers or in other lowlands. It is important to point out that those lower areas have been increasingly used by small farmers as a consequence of the droughts experienced in the previous years. The districts more affected by the droughts have been Nhamatanda, Dondo, Buzi, Marromeu, Caia and Chemba.

In addition to the floods, cereal crops were affected, early in the season, by localized but heavy attacks of red locust, which, in some cases, resulted in the total destruction of affected crops. Districts most affected by the locusts were Buzi, Nhamatanda and Dondo.

The total area planted to foodcrops in 1995/96 is estimated at some 219 700 hectares, 2.3 percent above the previous year, including some 178 000 hectares sown to cereals, and 41 700 hectares to pulses, groundnuts and cassava. Sowings were limited by scarcity of seeds, largely due to the drought that affected the province in 1994/95.

The Mission estimates that about 29 500 hectares of food crops, 13 percent of the total area planted, were lost due to flooding and pests. The most affected crops have been maize and beans with total losses being equivalent to about 23 percent of the total area planted.

Average yields in the areas unaffected by pests and flooding, are expected to be higher than last year, with average maize yields increasing from 0.7 tons/hectare to 0.99 tons/hectare. The overall 1995/96 production of cereals and pulses and groundnuts for both the first and the second season, is expected to reach 136 900 tons, 11.8 percent higher than last year. The production of cassava is expected to increase by 11 percent to 63 400 tons of fresh material.

Average yields of rice are expected to increase from 0.7 tons/hectare in 1994/95 to 0.88 tons/hectare this year.

Overall, despite the heavy area losses due to the floods, production of all crops is expected to rise. In addition, other sources of income for the farming population in the province are expected to increase. There was an improvement in the production and price of cashew nuts harvested at the end of 1995 in south east Chibabava and in south east Buzi Districts. The production of other cash crops, such as cotton and sugar cane, are also expected to increase. There is a visible increase in small scale livestock numbers and a considerable improvement in the state of pastures.

The Mission recommends a reduction in food aid assistance, with direct food distribution targeted to the areas/districts and to the farm families which were affected by floods and by pest attacks and who did not have alternative plots in higher areas. From September onwards, interventions should be restricted to vulnerable families who were unable to plant for the second season due to lack of seeds (lost because of floods and pests) and to groups of the population having limited labour availability, such as female headed households, elders and disabled people. An average number of about 15 000 persons would receive food aid, of which about 20 percent could be distributed through Food-for-Work activities.

Inhambane

Inhambane, in the South-East corner of Mozambique, benefits from comparatively high humidity throughout the coastal zone which extends up to 50 km inland. Rainfall decreases progressively from east to west and agricultural holdings are mostly found within 80 km of the coast. The average area cultivated is 1.5 hectares. In this zone agro-forestry is the dominant production system.

The province has a first season extending from October to April and a small second season from April to August, mainly in the Eastern Zone, where higher humidity and regular showers extend through the winter months.

The 1995/96 first season started slightly delayed, in November, in all areas of the Province. However, the weather pattern was highly irregular, with a very unequal distribution of rains, both in time and in space.

In most areas along the coast, there was an almost total absence of rains during the first 2 dekads of December, a little rain in the third dekad and again another dry spell and extremely high temperatures during the first half of January. The dry weather and the heat wave seriously affected first season cereals. Many cereal fields dried completely, forcing farmers to re-plant again during the second half of January, when above average rainfall commenced.

In the interior, the rains were patchy with large differences from one location to another, until mid January, when rainfall became more generalized and with above average levels in most areas. In the north of Inhambane, excessive rains caused an overflow of the Save River and some 1 300 hectares of crops were totally lost, including 900 hectares of maize and 400 hectares of beans and groundnuts.

The total area planted to major annual foodcrops (both seasons) in the 1995/96 production year is estimated at some 396 000 hectares, with an increase of only 1.9 percent over the previous year. Out of this total, some 180 500 hectares (46 percent) were sown with cereals, 61 000 hectares with pulses, 82 000 with groundnuts and 73 000 hectares with cassava. Plantings were limited by scarcity of seeds, largely due to the severe drought which affected the Province in 1994/95. This scarcity of seeds limited the re-planting of cereals. Seeking to alleviate this situation, FAO and WFP supported the distribution of 1 500 tons of sorghum, millet and maize seeds, during December and January. However, this was insufficient to supply all the affected farmers.

Although the situation is mixed, depending on the location and on the time of planting, average maize yields, at 0.53 tons/hectare are expected to be around one third better than last year, when the crop was severely affected by drought. Average yields of sorghum, at 0.49 tons/hectare are 23 percent higher than the previous year, with millet yields increasing about 10 percent to 0.44 tons/hectare.

There is some concern about the situation of the late cereal plantings and of the second season cereal plantings, as rainfall amounts have been insufficient since March in many areas of Inhambane. Other crops, such as groundnuts, beans and cassava performed well and their yields are expected to be better than those of the previous year. No significant attacks of pests or diseases have been reported to the mission.

The overall production of cereals is estimated at 92 400 tons. This is some 30 percent more than last year. The production of pulses and groundnuts is forecast at about 51 500 tons, 23 percent higher than the drought affected crop of 1994/95. Cassava production is anticipated to be at least 293 000 tons of fresh material, 15 percent higher than last year's production.

The food situation during 1996/97 is expected to improve considerably. Cashew, an important source of income all along the coast and up to more than 50 km into the interior, experienced a large increase in both production and prices. In Northern and Central coastal areas other sources of food and income include beans, groundnuts, vegetables, coconuts, fishing and citrus. In Southern coastal areas and in the interior, the cassava, bean and groundnut crops will be the main sources of food, while groundnuts, firewood, cashew and, to a limited extent, cotton, are also sources of income. In the interior of the Province, where livestock raising is one of the main activities, herd numbers are increasing and the situation of pastures is much better than last year.

As a consequence, the mission recommends a substantial scaling down in the level of direct food assistance in Inhambane. In the short term (May to August) interventions should be carefully targeted to the limited number of farm families which were affected by failure in their first season production of cereals and which do not have alternative sources of food and/or income. From September on, interventions should be restricted to families that were not able to plant for the second season due to lack of seeds and do not have alternative sources of food or income, mainly vulnerable groups of the population who have limitations in their labour force, such as female headed households, elders and disabled people.

Gaza

Gaza is located in the South-Eastern zone of Mozambique, stretching from the coast to the Zimbabwe border. Apart from the limited coastal area east of Xai-Xai, the main rainfed agricultural areas are located along the valleys of the Limpopo, Elephant, and Changane rivers and their tributaries.

In addition to agro-forestry, the coastal plains West of Xai-Xai are served by a deteriorating irrigation scheme at Chokwe, covering about 30 000 hectares. Rainfall in the province is usually low, and most farms are to be found in the limited coastal area and in Southern sections of the river valleys.

The coastal zone away from the irrigated area is dominated by cashew/coconut/cassava agro-forestry, incorporating annual crops of beans and groundnuts and with maize planted in open spaces along the roads and between the farms. There are also discontinuous cereal fields around villages throughout the interior, with local land races of millet becoming increasingly important in the Northern districts.

The 1995/96 production year was characterized by two different situations. In the coastal districts (South), the rainy season started more or less normally in October. However, rains were insufficient in most areas and a dry spell of about two weeks and extremely high temperatures during the first half of January seriously affected first season cereals. Many cereal fields dried completely, forcing farmers to re-plant again during the second half of January, when the rains returned with above average and excessive levels.

In the northern and central districts, the rainy season did not start until mid January, with heavy rains causing widespread and severe flooding.

The total area planted to major annual foodcrops (both seasons) in 1995/96 is estimated at some 208 000 hectares, 1.6 percent lower than in the previous year. Out of this total, some 107 000 hectares were sown with maize, 20 000 hectares with other cereals, 32 000 hectares with beans, 22 000 with groundnuts and 27 000 hectares with cassava. Plantings were limited by the scarcity of seeds caused by drought in the previous year and by the need for re-plantings in January.

Excessive rains prevailed throughout all areas of the province during the second half of January and in February, flooding the valleys along the Limpopo, Save, Incoluane, Elephants and Nwanetsi rivers, as well as some of their tributaries. These lowland areas have been increasingly cultivated by small farmers as a consequence of the droughts experienced in the previous years.

The floods washed away or submerged almost 48 000 hectares of crops along the rivers or in other lowlands. This represents almost a quarter of all the area planted to foodcrops. The most affected crop has been maize, of which some 37 000 hectares (35 percent of the area planted) were lost. Other losses include 3 000 hectares of other cereals (15 percent of the planted area), 4 800 hectares of beans and groundnuts (9 percent of the planted area) and 1 700 hectares (6 percent) of the area planted to cassava Although the flooding affected all districts, the highest losses were experienced in Xai-Xai, Bilene, Chokwe, Gija and Chibuto districts.

The outlook of second season maize is uncertain. Plantings are being limited by the scarcity of seed. In some lower areas the excess of humidity is delaying the plantings. Bean yields, at 0.39 tons/hectare are almost double those of the previous year, while cassava yields have increased from 3.5 tons/hectare to an estimated 4 tons/hectare.

Livestock numbers are reported to be increasing and the condition of pastures is excellent throughout the Province.

The overall 1995/96 production of cereals, pulses and groundnuts for both the first and the second season, is expected to reach 50 700 tons, 20 percent higher than for the drought affected level of last year.

The food situation during 1996/97 is expected to improve, as crops have performed better than last year. In addition, cashew, an important source of income in the South, experienced a large increase in both volume of production and in price. In the Northern areas of the interior of the Province, where livestock raising is one of the main activities, herd numbers are increasing, pastures are in excellent condition and water sources have been restored.

The Mission recommends a reduction in the level of direct food distribution in Gaza. In the short term (May to August) interventions should be carefully targeted on those families and areas which were affected by failure of their first season crop due to floods. From September on, distribution should be restricted to families who were unable to plant second season crops, due to lack of seed, and to those who do not have alternative sources of food or income. These include vulnerable groups of the population who have limited labour to cultivate land. An average number of about 39 000 persons should receive emergency food assistance.

Maputo

Situated in the southernmost extreme of Mozambique, Maputo province has the smallest agricultural area of all the 10 provinces. The province is divided into seven districts of which two, Magude and Manhiça, produce almost 50 percent of the provincial agricultural output. The dominant cereal crop is maize, despite the fact that rainfall levels, even in normal years, are insufficient for its production.

In coastal areas, an important activity is cashew production, with an estimated 500 000 trees incorporated in cashew-cassava systems. In the interior, one of the dominant activities of the rural population used to be livestock raising. However, herds were decimated during the war and rural households turned to maize production, despite the unfavourable climate and soils for this crop in much of the province.

Rainfall is bimodal with the possibility of a second season, mainly in the more humid lower areas. There was a false start of the 1995/96 rainfall season in many areas of the Province. A few showers were registered in mid August, which prompted a minority of farmers to plant their first season maize. However, there was an almost total absence of rains during the rest of August and September and most of those early plantings failed completely. The rains resumed during the first dekad of October in most areas of the Province, which encouraged most of the farmers to plant their first season maize. Rainfall continued, with an irregular distribution and with below average levels during November, causing water stress in maize. In addition, there was another dry spell and extremely high temperatures during the first half of January. This severely damaged or killed the standing crops of maize, forcing farmers to re-plant again during the second half of January, when above average levels of rainfall returned.

The total area planted to all cereals in 1995/96 is estimated at some 74 700 hectares, similar to the previous year. Out of this total, 67 700 hectares were sown to maize, 5 200 hectares to rice and 1 800 hectares to sorghum. The planted area of beans was 14 100 hectares, while 11 300 and 5 000 hectares were planted to groundnuts and cassava, respectively. Plantings were limited by the scarcity of seeds caused by last year's drought and by the need for successive re-plantings.

Heavy rainfall in South Africa caused a large increase in the water levels of the Sabie-Incomati and Maputo rivers during January and February. This caused the flooding of riverine and low areas along those rivers in the districts of Moamba, Magude, Manhiça and Matutuine. These lowland areas have been increasingly used by small farmers as a consequence of the droughts experienced in the previous years.

The floods washed away or submerged almost 26 300 hectares of crops in the areas flooded, including some 16 000 hectares in Manhica, and 4 000 hectares in Marracuene and 2 000 hectares in Magude. This represents 25 percent of all the area planted to foodcrops. The most affected crop has been maize, of which some 24 000 hectares, 35 percent of the area planted, were lost.

Average yields of the maize areas harvested or about to be harvested are estimated at 0.35 tons/hectare, as compared to 0.3 tons/hectare in the previous year. However, it is expected that there will be relatively large variations in yields, (between 0.1 tons/hectare to 0.6 tons/hectare) depending on the location and on the time of planting. The outlook of second season crops, now still being planted, is relatively good, given the good levels of humidity in lower areas. However, plantings will be limited due to the scarcity of seeds in most areas of the Province.

Livestock numbers are reported to be increasing and the condition of pastures is excellent throughout the Province.

The food situation during 1996/97 marketing year is expected to improve. Although the first and second season foodcrop production is expected to improve only marginally, other important sources of income in the province appear to be much better than in previous years. Cashew, an important source of income in all the coast, registered a large increase in volume of production and prices. In addition, all economic activities related to the proximity of the national capital and the Republic of South Africa, like direct employment, small commerce, firewood sales, charcoal production, handicrafts, etc., show signs of reactivation.

The Mission recommends a scaling down of the level of direct food assistance in the Province of Maputo. In the short term (May to August) interventions should be targeted mostly towards farm families who were affected by failure of their first season cereal crop (mainly in the flooded areas) and who do not have alternative sources of food and/or income. From September on, interventions should be restricted to families who were not able to plant for the second season due to lack of seeds and do not have alternative sources of food or income. The average number of beneficiaries is estimated at 31 000 persons.


EMERGENCY FOOD AID

In view of the considerable increase in food production in most areas, emergency food requirements are estimated to be substantially less than in previous years. Nevertheless, there are still a large number of farmers who would require emergency food assistance as their crops have been affected by floods, cyclones, pests or even drought. Also a number of recent returnees will require some further assistance, having had only a limited crop in 1996.

The Mission estimates the total emergency food aid needs for 1996/97 marketing year at 27 165 tons, of which 24 948 tons is maize and 2 217 tons beans. Carryovers plus pledged/expected assistance amounts to 8 800 tons of maize and 2 000 tons of pulses. The balance of 16 148 tons of maize and 217 tons of pulses still needs to be resourced.

In the southern provinces of Maputo and Gaza an estimated 101 486 persons, who have lost their crops as a result of the floods will have to be assisted from May until August 1996, when it is expected that they should have the harvest of their second crop, which was planted in March. However, a large number were unable to plant a second crop, since their land remained under flood water. It will, therefore, be necessary to reassess the food aid needs of these persons, as soon as the results of the second crop are known. In the other provinces free food distribution should not begin until September 1996, since most farmers affected by floods in those provinces also planted in higher areas where good crops are expected.

During the year, an average number of about 154 000 persons will require emergency assistance. The recommended ration consisting of 13.5 kg. of maize and 1.2 kg. of beans per month will cover only part of the food requirements of the beneficiaries, since it is expected that they will have other sources of income in the form of cash crops, livestock and other off-farm activities. In view of the information available to the Mission with regard to the general nutritional situation, and considering the overall increase in agricultural production in Mozambique as well as the surrounding countries, it is felt that a ration of maize and beans will be sufficient.

During its meetings with government officials as well as with NGOs, the Mission emphasized the need to target food aid to the most vulnerable groups i.e. the elderly, disabled, female headed households, most recent returnees and to those among the affected population with limited land. These criteria for the selection of beneficiaries should be observed by all implementing agencies, irrespective of the origin of their resources.

Considering the positive results of the issuance of ration cards during 1995/96 relief operation, it was agreed with the Government/DPCCN (Department for Natural Disaster Prevention and Response) that the registration of the beneficiaries and the issuance of ration cards would be organized prior to the first distribution.

The Mission recommends that some 15 percent of the emergency food assistance in 1996/97 be implemented through food-for-work, in particular in activities directed towards the improvement of basic infrastructure and the rehabilitation of the affected areas. Efforts will need to be made to focus further on the areas affected by the floods, to include activities which would protect the environment and the repair of feeder roads.


Food Delivery/Distribution & Monitoring

Most food aid under the emergency operation in 1995/96 has been delivered by WFP, World Vision International (WVI) and DPCCN. WFP has been responsible for delivering about 80 percent of the supplies to some 109 extended delivery points (EDPs), while the remaining 20 percent are mostly transported by DPCCN. Secondary transportation from EDPs to final delivery points (FDPs), as well as ultimate distribution to the beneficiaries, is undertaken by 11 NGOs and DPCCN as implementing partners. When food is not delivered to the FDPs by the NGOs themselves, private carriers (or DPCCN trucks treated the same way) are used for that purpose.

The major scale down in the emergency operation in 1996/97, resulting in much lower quantities to be delivered (27 000 tons as compared with 130 000 tons in 1995/96) to significantly reduced number of beneficiaries (from 1.3 million in April 1996 to an average caseload of 154 000 for 1996/97) calls for important changes in the food delivery process and capacity.

Food distribution will also have to reflect the qualitative changes in the nature of the emergency situation. The registration process must be re-oriented with a view to targeting flood victims in the first place (in Zambezia, Sofala, Gaza and Maputo province), as well as farmers affected by drought and vulnerable former returnees. This re-orientation will be greatly facilitated by the close cooperation with implementing partners successfully put in place by WFP during the last season, for the identification and registration of beneficiaries (distribution of ration cards) and the monitoring of overall food distribution. Monthly updates on the neediest beneficiaries will be particularly important in the 1996/97 emergency operation, as the distribution pattern after the winter will greatly depend on the outcome of the second season harvest.

The new pattern of beneficiaries should also reflect the move from a widespread emergency situation to a more localized support to disaster-stricken populations, minimizing the number of beneficiaries in areas where food security is improving. WFP has identified complementary cash resources that are essential for NGO efforts not only to store and deliver food but also to monitor and evaluate their action. These additional funds will improve the management of the programmes and the targeting of beneficiaries, and will provide resources to support the shift from direct free food aid to the increasing use of food for development projects, including rehabilitation and construction through food for work projects. Community groups and affected populations should be involved in dynamic way in the prioritization of food-for-work activities and the identification of beneficiaries.

This report is prepared on the responsibility of the FAO and WFP Secretariats with information from official and unofficial sources and is for official use only. Since conditions may change rapidly, please contact the undersigned for further information if required.
Abdur Rashid B. Szynalski
Chief, GIEWS FAO Director, OP, WFP
Telex 610181 FAO I Telex: 626675 WFP I
Fax: 0039-6-5225-4495 Fax: 0039-6-5228-2837
E-Mail: INTERNET: GIEWS1@FAO.ORG

Rome, 31 May 1996

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