BURUNDI* (25 November)
Renewed violence in September and October has resulted in a deterioration of the security situation in the country. This is likely to disrupt agricultural activities in some areas.
Harvesting of the 1998C short season food crops is complete. The outturn is estimated to be satisfactory, reflecting normal weather conditions and improved agricultural input availability. Prospects for the 1999A season crop in the ground are uncertain. Erratic rains in the past two months, mainly in eastern parts, may have negatively affected crop yield.
The food supply situation has improved with the improved 1998 food production. However, it remains tight for the population still living in displaced camps.
ERITREA* (25 November)
Normal rains in October maintained favourable prospects for the 1998 main season cereal and pulses crops. Following abundant rains during the growing season, the 1998 cereal and pulse production is anticipated to recover from the reduced levels of the past years. The tight food supply is easing with the arrival of the new harvest on the market. However, in areas affected by the armed conflict with neighbouring Ethiopia, production is expected to be reduced due to population displacements. A UN Inter-Agency Appeal has been launched to provide food and non-food assistance to an estimated 109 000 affected people.
ETHIOPIA* (25 November)
Harvesting of the 1998 main "Meher" cereal crop is underway. Overall, prospects are favourable reflecting abundant rains during the growing season, particularly in northern parts. Production is anticipated to recover from last year's level which was affected by excessive rains at harvest. However, erratic precipitation in the south-western parts may result in localized reduced harvest.
An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission is currently in the country to appraise the 1998 Meher production and estimate food aid requirements in 1999. Food aid pledges in 1998 amounted to 719 000 tonnes of cereals of which 503 000 tonnes have been distributed up to the end of November.
KENYA (25 November)
The 1998 main "long rains" cereal crops are being harvested in the main growing areas of the Rift Valley. Prospects remain favourable as a result of normal to above-normal rains, particularly in western parts. Production of the main staple, maize, is forecast to increase substantially over the reduced level of last year's same season to 2.3 million tonnes, while wheat output is anticipated at around or higher than the normal 1997 crop.
Prices of cereals and beans continued to decrease in October, reflecting the arrival of the new harvest onto the markets, as well as high levels of imports during the year.
Pasture and animal conditions in eastern and north- eastern areas have improved with the satisfactory rainy season. Food aid distributions by WFP in these areas, previously affected by severe floods, were terminated in October.
RWANDA* (25 November)
Planting of the 1999 first season foodcrops is complete. Growing conditions are satisfactory following generally normal to above-normal rains in September and October. However, persistent insecurity in north-western prefectures, continues to cause massive population displacements, disrupting agricultural activities. Reduced harvests are anticipated in these areas, hindering the recovery of agricultural production.
The output of the 1998 second season foodcrops, harvested in the middle of the year, was estimated to be substantially higher than the same season last year, and around the pre-civil strife level of 1990. As a result, prices of food staples have declined over recent months.
The number of displaced persons in north-western prefectures has continued to increase. The food and nutritional situation of the displaced is reported to be serious. Food assistance is being provided to some 360 000 in Ruhengeri, Gisenyi and Gikongoro prefectures.
SOMALIA* (25 November)
The food supply situation gives serious cause for concern following the sharply reduced 1998 main "Gu" season foodcrop production, which was the fifth consecutive reduced harvest. Production of maize is estimated at 61 000 tonnes, half last year's reduced level, and that of sorghum at 22 000 tonnes, only one- fifth of the 1997 Gu harvest.
Even assuming a normal secondary "Deyr" cereal crop to be harvested early in 1999, the deficit in 1998/99 marketing year (August/July) is large, estimated at 377 000 tonnes. After accounting for commercial imports, the food aid requirement is estimated at around 150 000 tonnes.
The precarious food situation has been aggravated by the ban of livestock imports from Somalia by Saudi Arabia, a traditionally important market, which has reduced incomes of a large proportion of the pastoral population. Food shortages are reported in several parts and cereal prices have increased. There is an urgent need for food assistance to avoid a major food crisis.
SUDAN* (25 November)
A recent FAO Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission to southern Sudan forecasts the 1998 total cereal production for the region at 537 700 tonnes, of which 192 400 tonnes are expected from the mechanized farming sector in Upper Nile State. The remaining 345 300 tonnes, the bulk of which will be sorghum, are estimated to come from the traditional sector. Production in the traditional sector is double last year’s poor harvest due to better rains and a season relatively free from migratory pests and diseases.
Although the rains were delayed everywhere and were erratic in the first two months, they stabilized from mid-July and continued up to November throughout the three regions of southern Sudan. The resulting yields are far better than last year.
However, it is predicted that five states (Jonglei, Bahr el Jebel, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes and Warrab) will be in cereal deficit and food aid will be needed throughout the coming marketing year, particularly in Bahr el Ghazal region, as normal trade routes and infrastructure have broken down. It is unlikely that this year’s production and any surplus on-farm stocks in the traditional sectors of Upper Nile and Western Equatoria will be accessible through market forces due to the segmentation of the population. Similarly, most of the 192 000 tonnes produced by mechanized farms in Upper Nile State is likely to be marketed in northern and central parts, with little traded southwards. Large scale local purchases of surpluses from Upper Nile State are recommended to cover the food deficit in the southern states.
In order to boost agricultural expansion, the Mission recommends the introduction of food-for-work schemes in secure areas in Bahr el Ghazal aimed at house rebuilding and farm rehabilitation, in conjunction with seed and tool supply schemes.
In central and northern Sudan, harvesting of the 1998 main season cereal crops has started. Despite severe floods and crop losses in parts, due to heavy rains in September, overall harvest prospects are favourable. An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission is currently in the country to appraise the 1998 main season cereal production and estimate commercial imports/exports and food aid requirements in 1999.
In anticipation of the good harvest and reflecting high levels of carryover stocks, prices of sorghum remain at very low levels. The Government has recently lifted the three-year ban on sorghum exports.
TANZANIA (25 November)
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory following the good 1998 cereal and non-cereal crop production. An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission earlier in the year estimated the 1998 total food crop production at one-third higher than the 1997 reduced level and above average. Pasture and animal conditions are also good in pastoral zones.
Despite available exportable surpluses in marketing year 1998/99 (June/May), food deficits are expected in parts of Singida and Dodoma regions, where production was reduced, as well as in the chronically food deficit areas of the Coast region. Recent assessments indicate that a total of 374 000 persons are in need of food assistance until the next harvest in February 1999.
Planting of the 1998/99 short "Vuli" season crop is underway under normal conditions so far.
UGANDA (25 November)
Widespread abundant rains in the third dekad of October benefited developing foodcrops of the 1998 second season, particularly in the eastern districts where the main maize crop was stressed by dry weather earlier. Prospects for the harvest early next year are favourable.
The rains of the past months have also improved pasture conditions and water availability for the livestock in pastoral districts of Kotido and Moroto.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory. Prices of food staples, particularly maize, have declined over recent months. In the northern districts of Gulu and Kitgum, affected by civil strife, some improvement in security since July has resulted in a decrease in the number of displaced persons, now estimated at 474 000. However, the food situation remains difficult in these areas. Food assistance is being provided to 400 000 displaced persons, as well as to 126 000 persons in the north-eastern areas affected by a succession of poor harvests.