FAO/GIEWS: Africa Report 05/97

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ETHIOPIA

Area:

976 680 sq.km

Climate:

Northern coastal area and lowlands in the south and the east are semi-arid to arid; the rest of the country has a highland rainy climate with mild winter.

Population:

58.35 million (1997 estimate); G.N.P. per caput: U.S.$ 100 (1995)

Specific characteristics of the country:

Low-income food-deficit country

Logistics:

Land-locked country, roads inadequate

Major foodcrops:

Maize, teff, barley, sorghum, wheat, pulses, enset (false banana)

Marketing year:

January/December; Lean season: August-November

Share of cereals in total calorie intake:

69 percent



CURRENT SITUATION

Good rains in the third dekade of March and first of April in the eastern and south-eastern lowlands, affected by dry spells in February and March, improved prospects for the 1997 secondary "Belg" crop. This crop, to be harvested from June, accounts for only some 7 percent of the total cereal production but in several areas provide most of the annual food supplies. Belg rains are also important for planting of the long-season crops (maize and sorghum) of the main "Meher" season.

The recent rains also improved pastures conditions and water availability in pastorals areas of the south bordering Somalia and Kenya (Borena Zone of Oromiya Region and Somali Region), which experienced failure of the short rains season from October to December. However, following severe losses of livestock, the food supply situation in these areas is reported very difficult. Food aid assistance is currently being distributed to the affected population, estimated at 1 million persons, but water supply remains a critical problem. Food aid requirements are estimated at 81 000 tons of cereals. Most affected areas are Degehabur and Liban Zones of Somali region and Dire and Yabello waredas in the Borena zone. Prices of grains and water have increased sharply in the affected areas while prices of livestock have fallen significantly. Unusual migrating movements are reported.

The main 1996 "Meher" cereal crops, harvested until January, was record. The output of cereals and pulses is estimated at 11.7 million tons, an increase of 20 percent from the previous year, and exportable surplus in 1997 at some 400 000-600 000 tons. Despite the bumper crop, some 1.9 million persons were estimated in need of food assistance due to structural food insecurity and poverty, as well as localized weather adversities during the main meher season. The food aid requirements are expected to be covered through local purchases.

CEREAL SUPPLY/DEMAND BALANCE FOR THE 1997 MARKETING YEAR (in thousand tons)


Wheat

Rice

Coarse grains

Total

Normal Production (rice in paddy terms)

950

-

5 600

6 550

Normal Imports

700

5

75

780

of which: Structural food aid

380

5

65

450

1997 Domestic Availability

1 974

-

9 158

11 132

1996 Production (rice in paddy terms)

1 970

-

9 158

11 128

1996 Production (rice in milled terms)

1 970

-

9 158

11 128

Possible stock drawdown

4

-

-

4

1997 Utilization

1 974

-

9 158

11 132

Food Use

1 699

-

6 194

7 893

of which: local purchase requirement

-

-

186

186

Non-food use

275

-

1 998

2 273

Exports or Re-exports

-

-

400

400

Possible stock build up

-

-

566

566

1997 Import Requirement

-

-

-

-

Anticipated commercial imports

-

-

-

-

Food aid needs

-

-

-

-

Current Aid Position





Food aid pledges

122

1

29

152

of which: Delivered

51

-

1

52

Donor-financed local purchases

-

-

85

85

Estimated Per Caput Consumption (kg/Year)

29

-

106

135

Indexes





1996 production as % of normal:




170

1997 import requirement as % of normal:




-

1997 food aid requirement as % of normal:




-


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