SITUATION IN THE
In the coastal countries of Western Africa, the 1998 growing season started
on time and is now well underway. Following the onset of rains, planting
has started in late March or early April in the south, and in late April
in the north. Crops have benefited from good growing conditions and prospects
are generally favourable. The first maize crop is about to be harvested
in southern regions. The rice crop is being planted in Liberia and Sierra
Leone but civil disturbances in rural Sierra Leone are affecting agricultural
activities and will limit planted areas.
Rains started in mid March over the south and remained abundant from early
April to late June over the whole country. Planting started in early April
in the south and by the end of the month in the north, slightly later than
last year. Precipitation in May and June was normal to above normal over
the whole country. The first maize crop and rainfed rice are developing
satisfactorily, as well as millet and sorghum crops in the north.
First rains were received in mid-February in the south. They progressed
to the centre in mid-March and became abundant and widespread in April
and May. They decreased somewhat in June but remained widespread. The main
maize, rainfed rice, millet and sorghum crops are growing under generally
The rainy season started in early April, which is later than last year.
Substantial rains fell in April over the whole country, allowing the planting
for the main maize, rainfed rice, and millet and sorghum crops. Above normal
rains persisted in April and early May, but decreased in late May and June,
remaining close to normal.
Rains started but remained limited in late March, and abundant precipitation
occurred in April over the whole country, allowing the planting of the
first maize and rice crops in the south and land preparation for planting
of millet and sorghum in the north. Precipitation decreased but remained
widespread in May and June. In June, rains decreased significantly in the
northern areas, where rainfall was less than 70% of normal, which could
hamper the development of recently planted millet and sorghum crops.
First rains occurred in late March and in April in the extreme south east,
allowing the planting of rice in this area. Rainfall became abundant over
the whole country only in mid May and remained abundant and widespread
in June. Recently planted rice, maize, millet and sorghum crops in most
parts of the country are developing satisfactorily, benefiting from good
Limited rainfall started in mid March in the south and became widespread
over the whole country in late March. Abundant precipitation was recorded
over the entire country in April and May, followed by a seasonal decrease
in June. Cumulative rainfall is above normal since the beginning of the
growing season. Following these good climatic conditions, the main maize
and rice crops, planted in April, are growing satisfactorily, as well as
cassava and yams.
First rains started over the south in mid March, allowing the planting
of the first maize crop in this area. Rains reached the north in mid and
late April and remained abundant and widespread over the entire country
in May and June. Following the onset of rains, the growing season started
in May in the centre and the north, with the planting of maize, rainfed
rice, and millet and sorghum crops. Despite a late start of the growing
season, satellite images show above normal vegetation in the whole country,
meaning that agro-meteorological condition allowed normal crop development.
Nevertheless, shortages of fertilisers, improved seeds and pesticides are
reported and may result in reduced foodcrop production.
Scattered rains occurred in April over the eastern part of the country,
but the growing season really started in May, when abundant rainfall was
recorded over the entire country. Rainfed rice was planted in April in
the east and in May in the rest of the country, while the planting of maize,
millet and sorghum is drawing to an end in the north and the centre. Cumulative
rainfall is normal to below normal, with scarce rains during the first
and second dekads of June over the centre and the west. Vegetation satellite
images show below normal vegetation coverage in the region surrounding
Freetown, where a below normal cereal output might be expected. However,
due to many years of civil strife, the country will continue to rely mostly
on food assistance to cover its needs.
Limited rains occurred from late March in the south, and became abundant
over the whole country in mid April. Vegetation satellite images show that
the start of the growing season has been quite late in the south and the
centre and the first maize crop was planted in April. Recently planted
rainfed rice and millet and sorghum crops are growing satisfactorily following
limited but widespread rainfall in May and June.