FAO/GIEWS: Africa Report 02/97

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SOMALIA

Area:

627 000 sq.km

Climate:

Semi-arid in the south; rest arid

Population:

5.6 million (1996 estimate); G.N.P. per caput: U.S.$ 120 (1990)

Specific characteristics of the country:

Low-income food-deficit country

Logistics:

Inadequate port facilities; serious shortage of fuel and spare parts

Major foodcrops:

Maize, sorghum, sesame

Marketing year:

September/August; Lean season: June-August

Share of cereals in total calorie intake:

45 percent



CURRENT SITUATION

Harvest of the 1996/97 secondary "Der" cereal crop, normally accounting for some 25 percent of the annual cereal production, is completed. The output was poor reflecting delayed and poorly distributed rains during the season, coupled with a decline in plantings due to the late precipitation and prevailing insecurity in the several areas. Estimates of the area planted indicate a decrease of one-third from the previous "Der" season for the sorghum crop, to 120 000 hectares, not compensated by an increase of 17 percent in the area under maize, mainly in irrigated areas, to 59 000 hectares. The total cereal production for the 1996/97 "Der" season is provisionally estimated at 45 000 tons, a decline of almost 60 percent from the normal 1995/96 level.

With the reduced 1996/97 "Der", food shortages are expected in parts, particularly in the Gedo, Lower Juba and Hiraam regions, where the main "Gu" crop was poor. In Mogadishu markets the price of sorghum by late January had increased by 65 percent from its November level.

The 1996 main "Gu" harvest was estimated by a FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission at 243 000 tons of cereals, an increase of 47 percent from the previous year but still over one-third less than the pre-civil war average. This reflects a significant increase in production in the important growing Bay region and the Northwest which, together, account for half of the country’s production. However, production declined sharply elsewhere due to drought, insect damage and/or flooding.

At the estimated level of the secondary "Der" season production, the cereal import requirement in the 1996/97 marketing year is likely to increase from the 203 000 tons forecast by the FAO/WFP Mission to some 256 000 tons. From this, commercial imports are expected to rise during the year to an annual net import of 170 000 tons of cereals (mostly rice and wheat). The remaining gap of 86 000 tons need to be covered by food aid. Emergency food aid for the worst affected areas are being revised in the light of the production estimates of the "Der" crop and farmers’ coping mechanisms in the areas where the harvest is reduced.

CEREAL SUPPLY/DEMAND BALANCE FOR THE 1996/97 MARKETING YEAR (in thousand tons)

Wheat

Rice

Coarse grains

Total

Normal Production (rice in paddy terms)

-

13

550

563

Normal Imports

70

60

10

140

of which: Structural food aid

40

20

10

70

1996/97 Domestic Availability

-

1

287

288

1996 Production (rice in paddy terms)

-

1

287

288

1996 Production (rice in milled terms)

-

1

287

288

Possible stock drawdown

-

-

-

-

1996/97 Utilization

120

61

363

544

Food Use

120

61

330

544

of which: local purchase requirement

-

-

-

-

Non-food use

-

-

33

33

Exports or Re-exports

-

-

-

-

Possible stock build up

-

-

-

-

1996/97 Import Requirement

120

60

76

256

Anticipated commercial imports

75

45

50

170

Food aid needs

45

15

26

86

of which emergency

-

-

19

19

Current Aid Position





Food aid pledges

1

-

3

4

of which: Delivered

-

-

2

2

Estimated Per Caput Consumption (kg/Year)

21

11

59

91

Indexes





1996 production as % of normal:




59

1996/97 import requirement as % of normal:




183

1996/97 food aid requirement as % of normal:




123


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