FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 09/98 - KENYA (3 September)
KENYA (3 September)
Above-average rains in July and August benefited developing cereal crops of the 1998 main “long rains” season. The maize crop in the main growing area of the Rift Valley is reported in good condition. The outlook for the harvest, starting from October, is promising. Preliminary official forecasts indicate a maize output of 2.3 million tonnes, an increase of 13 percent from the reduced level of last year. Assuming normal “short rains” production early next year, the 1998/99 aggregate maize output is projected at 2.8 million tonnes. Even at this above-average level, however, production will not cover consumption needs of the increased population. Imports will still be necessary, although at a lower level than in 1997/98. Production of wheat is forecast at 315 000 tonnes, around the level of last year which covered about onethird of the national requirements.
In anticipation of the expected good harvest, prices of maize, the staple food, have declined substantially since June and are currently some 40 percent below their level of a year ago.
In arid and semi-arid areas, the good rains of the past months have improved pastures and the recovery of livestock following the huge losses of animals to floods in late 1997. Food assistance continues to be distributed to the affected population in these areas.