GUINEA (2 June)
Rains started in late March in the south, and in early May in the north. Planting of rice, maize, millet and sorghum is underway. However, the large number of refugees in some of the main producing areas is causing problems, including soil degradation and deforestation.
Latest estimates put the total number of Liberian and Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea at 570 000, of whom about 380 000 are Sierra Leoneans and 195 000 are Liberians. Repatriation of Sierra Leonean refugees has stopped due to renewed fighting in northern Sierra Leone and about 170 000 new refugees have arrived in southern Guinea during the last two months. The cereal import requirement for 1998 is estimated at 400 000 tonnes.