FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 09/98 - ZAMBIA (3 September)
ZAMBIA (3 September)
As a result of El Niņo-related weather anomalies which drastically reduced crop yields and total production, the 1998 cereal output is estimated at 707 000 tonnes, down 37 percent from the previous year's level and markedly below average. For maize, the staple of the country, production is estimated at some 548 000 tonnes, 43 percent lower than last year and 58.6 percent of the previous five-year average.
The food supply situation for the 1998/99 marketing year is expected to be tight. Maize prices are reported to be steadily increasing since May/June. Against a total cereal import requirement of 660 000 tonnes, commercial imports are forecast at 364 000 tonnes, leaving an uncovered deficit of 296 000 tonnes, which includes 45 000 tonnes of emergency food assistance. To cover this deficit, the country will need international assistance in the form of grants, concessional imports and targeted food aid. So far food aid pledges amount to 6 000 tonnes, of which 3 000 tonnes have been delivered.