FAO GLOBAL INFORMATION AND EARLY WARNING SYSTEM ON FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME

SPECIAL REPORT : FAO/WFP CROP AND FOOD SUPPLY ASSESSMENT MISSION TO THE KOSOVO PROVINCE OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA

30 August 1999

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Mission Highlights

  • The rural population has lost a variable proportion of this year's agricultural production due to mass displacement.

  • The Mission forecasts wheat production in 1999 at about 113 000 tonnes, 65 percent less than the estimated crop in 1997 (a relatively normal year), and meeting only about 30 percent of the domestic requirement.

  • The wheat import requirement for the marketing year 1999/2000 (July/June) is estimated at 228 000 tonnes, of which 143 000 tonnes of emergency food aid deliveries/pledges are scheduled up to the end of 1999, leaving an uncovered import gap of about 85 000 tonnes.

  • The 1999 maize crop is sharply reduced and spring/summer vegetable production was almost zero due to the interruption of the planting season.

  • There has been widespread looting and slaughter of livestock. Cattle numbers have been reduced to roughly 50 percent of 1997 levels, while the numbers of small stock and chickens now stand at roughly 25 percent of 1997 levels.

 

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1. OVERVIEW

In March 1999, an escalation of civil unrest in the Kosovo Province of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which had been prevalent in some areas of the Province already since March 1998, led to a large scale exodus of refugees into neighbouring countries, and the internal displacement of the majority of the remaining population. By early June 1999, about 750 000 refugees had fled the Province to neighbouring countries, 150 000 people had been displaced to other parts of Serbia and Montenegro, and 600 000 people were displaced from their homes but remained in hiding within the Province.

Events rapidly turned around after 10 June when a Military Technical Agreement was reached between the Government of the FRY and NATO, allowing the first Kosovo Force (KFOR) peace-keeping troop deployments into the Province to begin. UN humanitarian workers and convoys of relief supplies entered Kosovo shortly after. The turn of events in Kosovo inspired large-scale spontaneous returns of refugees beginning 14 June. In the first two weeks of this spontaneous return, over 415 000 Kosovo refugees returned by their own means and others through arranging buses from their camps. By late July, the total number of refugees who had returned to the Province stood at about 700 000.

The UN Security Council Resolution 1244 of 10 June authorized the immediate establishment of an international civil presence in Kosovo, the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), in order to provide an interim administration for the Province. Under the umbrella of the UNMIK, many UN agencies are now involved according to their areas of specialization.

FAO and WFP, in addition to their emergency assistance according to their respective mandates, have been continuously assessing the crop and food supply situation in the Province as a basis for planning relief assistance. In this context, a joint FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission was fielded to Kosovo from 2 to 8 August. The Mission was designed to build on the findings of an earlier rapid crop assessment undertaken in late June by FAO, and a rapid food security assessment by the two organizations also in late June.

The Mission's findings are based on discussions with UN and bilateral agencies, NGOs, staff in 8 emerging municipal administrations, householders, traders, millers and agriculturalists, and on field visits which covered 19 out of the 28 municipalities (see Appendices I and II), including all the major production areas.

The Mission found that the rural economy of the Province, although already depressed by a decade of restrictive policies, has been severely affected by the unsettled security situation in 1998 and subsequent severe hostilities in 1999.

The rural population has lost a variable proportion of this year's agricultural production. The Mission forecasts Kosovo wheat production in 1999 at about 113 000 tonnes, 65 percent less than the estimated crop in 1997, a relatively normal year, and meeting only about 30 percent of the domestic requirement. Output of maize, the second most important cereal crop, which is used almost entirely for animal feed, is forecast by the Mission at some 57 000 tonnes, only 20 percent of the average level during the past few years. The Mission also found that the normal spring/summer vegetable production was almost zero due to the interruption of the planting season in 1999.

There has also been widespread looting and slaughter of livestock. Cattle numbers have been reduced to roughly 50 percent of 1997 levels, while the numbers of small stock and chickens now stand at roughly 25 percent of 1997 levels.

These losses will have both nutritional and economic consequences in the coming year, as domestic crop and livestock production is not only an important source of nutrients, but also contributes significantly to rural incomes in normal years through the sale of surplus products. Preliminary field data suggest that around 60 percent of rural cash income was derived from the sale of crops and livestock/livestock products in 1997, with the balance coming largely from remittances. Income from the first two sources will be much reduced over the next 12 months, and the rural population will be very heavily reliant on remittances from abroad. While incomes will decline, the need for expenditure, particularly on reconstruction, could never have been greater.

With regard to wheat, the staple food in Kosovo, the wheat import requirement for the marketing year 1999/2000 (July/June) is estimated by the Mission at 228 000 tonnes. Against this requirement, 143 000 tonnes of food aid deliveries/pledges are scheduled up to the end of 1999, leaving an uncovered import gap of about 85 000 tonnes.

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2. SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONTEXT

2.1 The economy

The roots of the current socio-economic situation in Kosovo may be traced back to 1989, when Kosovo lost its status of autonomous region and Belgrade assumed responsibility for its affairs. Since then, the Province was subjected to a series of repressive policies, which included the expulsion of most Kosovar Albanians from their jobs in state controlled industries and civil administration.

This had a severe impact on all sectors of the provincial economy, including the rural areas where many families had at least one member in formal employment. The effects were particularly severe, however, in the heavily industrialised urban centres of Pristina and Mitrovica in the eastern half of the province. The western towns of Pec, Djakovica and Prizren were less affected, given that they had a stronger tradition of private trade and small scale workshop activities. This mass unemployment triggered a wave of out-migration, and a total of 400 000 Kosovo Albanians (roughly 20 percent of the population) are said to have left the Province since 1990. Many of these migrants work in Germany and Switzerland, typically undertaking low paid casual labour. Remittances from relatives abroad are an important source of income for the Kosovo Albanian population throughout Kosovo. Roughly half of all families in the rural areas have at least one family member working abroad, while the proportion of urban families receiving overseas remittance income is even higher. Remittances average at least DM 200-300 ($100-150) per month.

The net effect of the mass expulsion of Kosovo Albanians from formal employment was to radically transform the urban Kosovo Albanian economy into one that depended very heavily upon the trade and service sectors, fuelled by income from remittances. At the same time, the rural economy came to rely very heavily upon food and cash income derived from local crop and livestock production, supplemented by income from remittances. Thus, despite often difficult operating conditions (formal taxation and informal bribery), the private sector of the economy (both formal and informal) boomed in the early nineties fuelled by the entrepreneurship of the Kosovar people, and the necessity to meet the basic requirements of the population. Farmers in particular were in need of a minimum level of most of basic services such as input supply and repair services, which became almost unavailable from the formal channels.

2.2 The agricultural sector

Since 1989, the agricultural sector of the Province has been subjected to restrictive policies and neglect. State-run enterprises have fallen into decline and cooperatives have broken up. Irrigation schemes functioning in the 1980s have been rendered useless by lack of repair and maintenance and other support structures have disappeared.

In most instances, areas allocated to state and parastatal bodies have remained unused. Kosovar agricultural production therefore now comes largely from small farms producing staple food and feed crops. The area under field crops other than cereals, such as sugar beet, tobacco and oilseeds, has declined substantially due to falling prices and factory closures. Only a few exceptions remain including the oilseeds and vegetable companies of Djakovica and the vineyards of Glogovac and Prizren. The state animal production sub-sector, which had previously included substantial dairy herds and poultry units, collapsed over the same period.

Almost completely surrounded by mountains, ranging from 900m in the south-east, along the border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to 2 424m along the north-west boundary with Montenegro, the main agricultural areas of Kosovo are located in the central plain and in two major valleys extending into the Serbian mountain ranges to the north and east. The plain is bisected by a fragmented range of mountains reaching 1212m.

Agricultural systems are therefore defined by the topography and its associated rainfall. These systems presently include intensive arable production in the plain; mixed cereal and grape production in the central and peripheral piedmont areas and forestry and extensive grazing in the mountains.

The 15-year average rainfall of the Province is recorded at 780 mm, increasing in quantity from 500 mm in the east to over 1 000 mm in the west. The rains usually begin in September/October, continue through winter (as snow according to altitude), until May and then as irregular storms throughout the summer until the following September. The rains support autumn sown wheat and limited crops of barley and oats until harvest in May/June and spring-sown maize, sunflower and vegetables, which are harvested during the summer. The cropping calendar is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Kosovo Province of the Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia - Crop Calendar

Crop Calendar

Irrigation schemes established in the 1970s to use surface water from the many rivers and streams enhanced production of spring-sown crops by improving the water supply during the summer. The demise of the schemes has reduced production possibilities in the fertile areas.

Prior to 1989, a tradition of heavy use of inputs characterized the production systems of cereal and industrial crops in both the public and private sectors. Although an absence of credit since 1990/91 has reduced input use, small farmers have continued to buy fertilizer for basal and top dressing for wheat, maize, potatoes and vegetables.

Despite the small size of holdings (1 to 5 hectares), mechanization was almost total during the 1990s. A variety of tractors ranging from two-wheeled units (single axle, tractor-trailer combinations) to heavy 4-wheeled drive units provided appropriate levels of mechanization to suit all farm sizes. Light, 4-wheel, Yugoslav-made tractors are the most common, serving as multipurpose power units for cultivation, transport and haulage in all rural areas. The only use of animal draught power noted by the Mission was horse-drawn carts in rural towns and the occasional weeding of maize fields.

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3. FOOD PRODUCTION IN 1999

Despite a good base of key informants, it should be noted that quantifying the findings of the Mission, particularly with regard to the wheat balance sheet, was hampered by: i) the collapse of the Ministry of Agriculture and the withdrawal of all Serb administrators and specialists; ii) the collapse of local government structures, and iii) loss, destruction or removal of archives held by government and parallel/shadow administrations.

Thus, the Mission drew heavily on background data on crop area in the 1980s and 1990s provided by the University of Pristina and the Economic Chamber. More recent data were obtained from the Mother Teresa Society (MTS) and other NGOs in the process of estimating war damage. Since the dismissal of Kosovar Albanians from Ministerial service in 1990/91, parallel statistics have been compiled by ex officio personnel working with the communities. These data were also available to the Mission in three of the municipalities visited.

Together with the findings of FAO's earlier rapid crop assessment, such data have been used to provide this latest assessment of the situation with regard to the 1999 crop production. It should be noted, however, that in view of the aforementioned difficulties, the crop data at municipality level should be viewed cautiously and will need to be updated at regular intervals as more information becomes available.

The Mission found that the effects of the conflict in 1999 and the preceding several months of civil unrest in 1998 have been, by far, the most significant factors affecting agricultural production this year.

3.1 Cereal production

The Mission's estimates of the harvested area and production of wheat and maize are presented in Tables 1 and 2 respectively. The Mission could not construct a time series of the cereal area and production due to the loss or destruction of administrative records. However, some historical data on area and yield have been included for comparison purposes.

The Mission forecasts total production of winter wheat at nearly 113 000 tonnes from a harvested area of about 50 000 hectares. At this level, output is about 65 percent less than the estimated crop in 1997. Production of maize is forecast at some 57 000 tonnes, only about 20 percent of the average crop in the past few years.

Table 1. Kosovo Province of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Winter Wheat Area, Production and Yield (area: hectares, yield: tonnes/ha, production: tonnes)

Municipality
Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia
University
Pristina
FAO June
1998
Mission
Pre-1990
Ave.
Harv. Area
1997
Harv.
Area
1998/99
Planted
Area
1998/99
Harv.
Area
1998/99
Yield
1998/99
Production
Decani
936
360
na
50
2.5
125
Gora
325
na
na
na
na
na
Urosevac
7 985
5 200
4 160
4 000
2.5
10 000
Fushe Kosovo
(incl. in Pristina)
2 210
1 994
(incl. in Pristina)
Djakovica
4 047
3 500
1 050
680
2.2
1 496
Gnjilane
5 722
7 200
6 480
5 400
3.0
16 200
Glogovac
4 562
3 700
296
300
2.0
600
Istok
2 834
1 250
1 000
918
1.3
1 193
Kacanik
1 340
1 100
880
600
2.4
1 440
Kamenica
5 936
4 000
3 600
2 880
3.0
8 640
Klina
4 055
2 850
855
2 200
2.1
4 620
Lipjan
7 205
6 900
5 865
5 800
2.5
14 540
Leposavic
1 129
800
640
240
1.8
432
Malishevo1/
4 398
4 000
1 200
-
-
-
Mitrovica
2 571
1 200
360
300
2.0
600
Novo Berde
(incl. in Gnjilane)
800
640
600
1.4
840
Obilic
(incl. in Pristina)
1 100
550
(incl. in Pristina)
Pec
2 208
1 250
875
1 250
1.4
1 700
Podujevo
7 184
7 400
5 180
4 000
2.6
10 360
Pristina
9 873
3 000
2 700
6 000
2.0
12 000
Prizren
4 423
6 800
4 760
3 900
1.5
5 850
Orahovac
2 689
2 300
575
770
2.5
1 925
Strpce
(incl. in Urosevac)
100
80
100
2.0
200
Stimlje
(incl. in Urosevac)
1 200
600
600
2.1
1 250
Sbrica
6 380
5 400
540
540
2.0
1 080
Suva Reka
4 495
4 000
1 200
1 200
1.8
2 160
Vitina
4 598
4 000
3 600
3 600
2.5
9 000
Vucitrn
5 764
6 100
3 050
3 050
1.7
5 330
Zubin Potok
na
500
450
400
1.8
720
Zvecan
na
350
280
175
2.0
350
TOTAL
100 659
88 570
53 460
49 553
2.3
112 651


Source: Various sources - see column headings.
1/ In the Mission estimates the area of the former municipality of Malishevo has been included in the estimates for the municipalities of Klina, Glogovac, Orahovac and Suva Reka which absorbed it.

Table 2. Kosovo Province of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Maize Area, Production and Yield
(area: hectares, yield: tonnes/ha, production: tonnes)

Municipality
Federal Rep.
of Yugoslavia
University of Pristina
Mission
Pre-1990 Av.
Harv. Area
Av. Harv.
Area
Post-1990
Av. Yield
Av.
Production
1999
Harv.
Area
1999
Yield
1999
Production
Decani
7 235
2 400
3.0
7 200
360
3.0
1 080
Gora
115
100
2.0
200
na
na
na
Urosevac
7 732
6 500
3.2
20 800
1 500
2.5
3 750
Fushe Kosovo
(incl. in Pristina)
2 500
2.5
6 250
(incl. in Pristina)
Djakovica
8 361
4 800
3.5
16 800
700
2.0
1 400
Gnjilane
7 490
7 000
3.0
21 000
1 200
3.5
4 200
Glogovac
7 278
3 800
2.5
9 500
500
2.0
1 000
Istok
6 186
4 350
3.5
15 225
150
3.0
450
Kacanik
40
1 600
2.5
4 000
na
na
na
Kamenica
7 050
6 800
2.5
17 000
400
3.5
1 400
Klina
8 919
7 800
3.2
24 960
2 000
3.0
6 000
Lipjan
4 074
5 800
3.0
17 400
2 000
3.0
6 000
Leposavic
1 057
1 000
2.0
2 000
na
na
na
Malishevo1/
4 992
1 500
2.0
3 000
-
-
-
Mitrovica
3 615
2 200
2.5
5 500
200
3.0
600
Novo Berde
(incl. in Gnjilane)
1 000
2.0
2 000
na
na
na
Obilic
(incl. in Pristina)
2 000
2.8
5 600
(.incl. in Pristina)
Pec
13 423
4 200
3.5
14 700
800
3.0
2 400
Podujevo
5 336
5 400
3.2
17 280
2 500
3.0
7 500
Pristina
7 632
4 000
2.5
10 000
2 000
3.0
6 000
Prizren
11 692
4 500
2.9
13 050
1 500
1.9
2 850
Orahovac
6 417
3 000
3.5
10 500
600
3.0
1 800
Strpce
(incl. in Urosevac)
na
na
na
na
na
na
Stimlje
(incl. in Urosevac)
700
3.0
2 100
na
na
na
Sbrica
6 174
4 700
2.0
9 400
400
3.0
1 200
Suva Reka
6 616
4 500
2.7
12 150
1 500
2.5
3 750
Vitina
6 681
5 000
3.5
17 500
500
2.5
1 250
Vucitrn
8 510
4 800
3.7
17 760
2 000
2.3
4 600
Zubin Potok
na
1 000
2.0
2 000
na
na
na
Zvecan
na
na
na
na
na
na
na
TOTAL
146 625
102 950
3.0
304 875
20 810
2.8
57 230

Source: Various sources - see column headings.
1/ In the Mission estimates the area of the former municipality of Malishevo has been included in the estimates for the municipalities of Klina, Glogovac, Orahovac and Suva Reka which absorbed it.

Factors affecting area planted

Rainfall in the main wheat growing areas began on time in September/October. The Mission noted that in all municipalities the early rainfall was well distributed and optimal in quantity. Generally, the rains continued, either as snow or rain, until May, with no adverse or unusual effects noted.

For farmers who had sufficient cash, wheat seed was available for purchase through local traders and from the vestiges of the cooperative movement. No formal credit has been available in Kosovo since 1990/91. Farmers without cash or assets to sell planted carryover seeds from their 1997/98 harvests. This practice was noted to be increasing, with villages in Gnjilane and Djakovica reporting up to 60 percent of households using their own seeds.

Similarly, tractor services were also available for those who could afford either the fuel or the hire charges, the former being readily available on the black market. Therefore, the area sown to autumn wheat should have been in the same order as in recent years.

However, throughout Kosovo, though to varying extents, a combination of intimidation and coercion, including sniping at farmers working in the fields, reduced the planted area to about 60 percent of the average level over the past ten years.

In the south-eastern municipalities, considered to have been relatively less affected by the hostilities last autumn, areas sown are estimated at 10-20 percent below normal. In the north-western municipalities, where hostilities began as early as March 1998, the resulting dislocation reduced agricultural activities in the autumn to such an extent that areas sown to wheat dropped by 75-85 percent.

The general escalation of hostilities in March 1999 led to mass population movement which totally disrupted the agricultural activities of the majority of the Kosovar Albanians. The exodus of refugees to neighbouring countries and the internal displacement of the bulk of the remaining population was only reversed in late June, following the entry of the KFOR peace-keeping forces into the Province.

In the meantime, the laying of mines, mostly in municipalities adjacent to the southern and western borders, the presence of unexploded bombs, and the grazing of wheat fields by abandoned livestock reduced the harvestable area of wheat further to some 57 percent of the area harvested in 1997 and 49 percent of the area reported to be harvested pre-1990.

At the time of the Mission, the harvest had been completed in some areas and was underway in others but the proportion of unharvested land still remained high. Interviews with farmers and combine drivers confirmed that the pace of the harvest was much slower than normal, primarily because of a shortage of serviceable combines. Many combines were reported to have been seriously damaged during the period of conflict. Although KFOR has assisted with fuel/oil supplies, and combine sharing among municipalities is widespread, the longer the crops have to stand in the field the poorer the quality of the grain will be and any crops that are not gathered before the arrival of the winter rains are likely to be completely lost. Reflecting the shortage of combines, the price of combining one hectare has risen by 20 percent to 130-150 DM per hectare compared to last year's prices.

Maize is the major spring cereal crop. As mentioned above, events during the spring of 1999 precluded the planting of maize by the majority of the Kosovar Albanians in most municipalities except for some parts of Pristina, Lipjan and Gnjilane. The Mission estimates that the limited area planted to maize, mostly by Serbian farmers, amounts to only about 20 percent of the normal area planted in recent years and just 14 percent of that reported pre-1990.

Factors affecting yields

A decline in fertilizer use and the stagnation of seed improvement activities over the past decade have resulted in cereal yields in Kosovo at the level achieved in the mid-1980s. At 3 tonnes per hectare, this is substantially lower than yields achieved elsewhere in Europe. In this context, given the optimal nature of the rainfall since October 1998, factors affecting yield this year have been mostly war-related.

In the first instance, in areas where hostilities began in earnest before September 1998, field work was poor, and thus the fields for wheat were ill-prepared. Elsewhere, the high price of cultivation at 200 DM per hectare for ploughing and one pass of disc harrows was a disincentive to good tilling.

Secondly, spring husbandry practices for the growing wheat crop were virtually eliminated in most Kosovar Albanian farms. Although basal dressings of fertilizer were applied to most fields at planting time, albeit at reduced levels, top-dressing with nitrogenous fertilizers (urea and potassium ammonium nitrate) was not possible in the spring due to the events at that time. Similarly, there was no opportunity for farmers to control weeds, insects or fungal attacks. Fortunately, no major incidents of crop pests or diseases were noted. Although many normal husbandry practices have declined over the past decade due to lack of credit and unfavourable returns, control of weeds, in particular, was noted to be a regular practice. This year, the absence of weed control coupled with reduced cultivation and a delayed harvest, has resulted in an extraordinarily high weed growth, despite the high 300kg per hectare seeding rates. Weed competition has significantly reduced yields and has affected the quality of grain through contamination. Further, a very humid micro-climate created by tall weeds in the low-lying areas such as the Prizren plain, has encouraged sprouting of grains on the ear in the crops which have not yet been harvested.

Elsewhere, samples of wheat coming off the combine were examined by the Mission and found to be mostly of poor quality, with small discoloured grains and signs of fungal infestations. Any wheat to be used for seed will require cleaning, drying and seed dressing in the next few weeks as planting is expected to begin in late September/early October.

Based on the above, the Mission forecasts that wheat yields will be lower than usual in 1999 at 2.3 tonnes per hectare on average compared with 2.7 tonnes in 1997 and 2.8 tonnes in 1986.

Maize yields could only be estimated from the condition of the crops observed. In 90 percent of the cases the tasselled crop was in good condition. Fields were well-organized, weeded and the very regular vegetative growth indicated use of fertilizer. Maize prices in Kosovo in recent years have been stronger than wheat prices, encouraging a greater investment in the former crop, which was evident in the fields observed.

However, it is not clear as to how the maize harvest will be conducted. Persisting civil unrest and the recent exodus of a large part of the rural Serb population has undoubtedly meant that many of the crops may now be unattended. As the security situation for the remaining Serb population is difficult, harvesting of maize in a few weeks time may not be a simple task; traditionally, maize harvesting has required hired labour which begs the question of labour availability.

The Mission has been conservative in the yield estimate at 2.8 tonnes of maize grain per hectare on average compared with an average of 3 tonnes per hectare over the past decade and 3.6 tonnes per hectare pre-1990 from an area five times the current size.

3.2 Vegetable and fruit production

With the exception of a large commercial unit in Djakovica, a number of greenhouses on the Prizren plain and peri-urban market gardens, vegetable production is generally a household-based summer-cropping activity.

The Mission does not expect any significant production of vegetables in 1999. The commercial sector is notable by its absence. The large unit in Djakovica has been left fallow. Elsewhere the greenhouses are empty and only one very recently planted market garden around Pristina was noted. Specialist potato growers in the northern and western municipalities have also not planted the crop this year. Although some returnees/remainees have been able to plant some limited summer vegetable crop following the cessation of the conflict, there has been no household vegetable production in at least 80 percent of the farms.

Since returning, most farmers have been fully occupied either with re-building their houses or providing some form of shelter for their families where re-building has been beyond their scope, or harvesting the wheat crop. Vegetable production has not been a priority. Nevertheless, the markets are presently well stocked with high quality vegetables from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and elsewhere and prices were generally reported to be similar to those in 1998.

With the exception of grape production, the fruit sub-sector has suffered the least. Regarding grapes, this year's crop can be written off. Large scale government vineyards in Glogovac - Glogovac and Prizren, amounting to some 3 000 hectares, have been completely neglected. There has been no pruning, weeding, fertilizer application or spraying; consequently production will be minimal and not worth the cost of harvesting.

Family fruit units have suffered similarly, although family labour may be used to pick whatever fruit is harvestable. However, during four days of field visits through 19 municipalities not a single farmer was observed working in their vineyards. Furthermore, fear of land mines and unexploded bombs and very serious damage during the conflict to the main wine factory adjacent to one of the major grape growing areas has aggravated the situation.

Given the non-commercial nature of the rest of the fruit sector, lack of attention over the past few months is unlikely to make much difference to the fruit crop. Plums, apples and pears were noted by the Mission to be ripening and the harvest is likely to begin in the next few weeks. Fear of mines and unexploded bombs may deter fruit picking in the south-western border municipalities.

Fruit production in 1989 was estimated at 46 000 tonnes. No more recent estimates were available to the Mission.

3.3 Livestock production

Prior to 1990/91, the Kosovo livestock industry could be clearly defined as an industry consisting of two sub-sectors, the Government sector producing at a commercial level comparable to the rest of Europe, and a peasant sector based on small herds and flocks producing for home consumption and the sale of surpluses. The past decade has witnessed the decline and ultimate fall of the state-run dairy and poultry industries and the emergence of smaller private commercial units.

The modern animal units appear to have been targets for looting and destruction. Those units not destroyed by Serbian forces appear to have suffered disproportionately from NATO bombing, either because they were used as shelters for Serb forces or because the size, regularity and isolation of the units, especially poultry houses, could be mistaken for military barracks.

Quantitative estimates of changing population of breeding stock over the past 20 years are summarized in Table 3. Total poultry numbers are also provided in the same table. All stock numbers are given for the private and state sub-sectors.

Table 3. Kosovo Province of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
- Livestock numbers (`000 head)

    Cows Ewes Sows Poultry
private State private State private State private State
1980 194 1 242 3 12 2 2 139 245
1985 213 2 282 4 9 2 2 009 325
1990 222 3 278 5 7 2 5 586 347
1995 244 1 281 3 16 3 2 526 238
1999 122 0 70 0 8 0 631 0

Source: 1980-1995 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Statistical Data, 1999 Mission estimate

Juxtaposed with the changes are tentative estimates provided to the Mission of numbers of livestock now in both sectors. The Government sector no longer exists; all stock were either looted, consumed or killed.

In the private sector, reduction in numbers was due to looting by non Kosovar Albanian neighbours, consumption by IDPs in the mountains, killing and consumption by Serb forces, death due to abandonment and early sale prior to dislocation.

The Mother Teresa Society is presently undertaking a country-wide survey to determine the level of livestock losses more accurately.

Information received by the Mission during field visits to municipalities confirm the order of national estimates as shown in Table 4.

Table 4. Kosovo Province of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
- Livestock numbers, all classes both sectors

Municipality
or village
Cattle
Sheep
Goats
Layers
1998
1999
1998
1999
1998
1999
1998
1999
Braslce (village)
300
95
200
0
50
6
1 500
600
Gnjilane
10 000
1 000
2 500
0
-
-
-
-
Prizren
14 150
5 660
24 800
7 440
4 651
1 396
-
-
Djakovica
23 350
7 005
16 190
3 238
700
150
180 000
13 000
Klina
(70 percent reported to have been lost)
Pec
35 000
7 000
55 000
21 000
-
1 000
16 000*
0

* Government sector only.

As well as the obvious disadvantage of losing stock, small farmers in the piedmont and mountain areas, whose livestock contribute significantly to the household food economy, will be further disadvantaged by changes to the production cycle of the remaining animals. Cattle will not have been mated. This will cause an extension to the calving interval with consequent losses of production in the year 2000. The sheep cycle is likely to have been similarly affected as mating, which usually occurs in June-July, will not have been organised as required.

Common diseases such as mastitis will not have been treated with possible long term effects on the production capacity of dairy animals including cows, ewes and does. Regarding sheep, the majority of which are in the piedmont mountain areas, not only the dams but also two generations of female followers have been lost and with them their "hefting" ability to use the mountain pasture to best effect and with minimal shepherding. This takes generations of sheep to develop.

Replacement of layers (poultry) will be delayed unless pullets are purchased at considerably higher cost and inconvenience than purchasing day-old chicks.

As the most productive pastures throughout Kosovo were noted by the Mission to be pure stands of perennial legumes, either alfalfa (Medicago sativa) or red clover (Trifolium pratense), production of high quality hay is not likely to have been impaired and good grazing was clearly readily available in all areas.

In addition, restoration of rough grazing areas through hay making and collection and burning-off was also observed throughout the Province.

With such high losses of animals, no shortages of winter fodder are anticipated in the coming 1999/2000 winter season. Similarly, with the diminution of the pig and poultry industries, it is estimated that concentrate feed requirements will be around 70 000 tonnes, comprising 40 000 tonnes for cattle, 4 000 tonnes for sheep, 21 000 tonnes for poultry and 5 000 tonnes for pigs. The forecast maize harvest is 57 000 tonnes which, allowing 2 000 tonnes for maize seed and 6 000 tonnes for post-harvest losses, will still cover the present pig, poultry and milk sheep needs. The remaining maize may then be used to augment the wheat bran-based ration of the local dairy cows that remain.

The above analysis does not cater for restocking, which is unlikely to be an option until support schemes are reorganized. Careful thought will be necessary prior to any re-stocking programmes given that current ruminant systems make extensive use of mountain pastures from March to October.

-------

4. FOOD SUPPLY SITUATION

Kosovo has always had a structural production deficit for several major agricultural commodities, in particular, wheat, sugar, oilseeds and meat (other than sheep). Since 1989, as mentioned earlier, 10 years of neglect and counterproductive agricultural policy reduced the Province's production and increased its dependency on imported food. A centrally controlled and restrictive trade policy ensured that the bulk of the Province's needs were met through "imports" from other parts of the FRY. However, as a result of increasing difficulties in formal trading, a parallel system of private, and often informal, trade developed and flourished in Kosovo during the nineties, and contributed to meeting some of the Provinces food needs.

During the war in the first half of 1999, normal flows of food commodities into Kosovo were almost entirely blocked, and the Kosovar Albanian population who remained in the Province throughout the conflict survived largely on stocks which had been accumulated before the crisis.

Although the food supply situation for the population in Kosovo was reported to be getting critical towards June 1999, the high level of preparedness of the international community assured that flows of food aid into the Province quickly started after the end of the conflict on 10 June. This rapid response with relief food deliveries prevented serious shortages which were impending for some of the remainee population. Furthermore, the rapid provision of food aid also prevented a potential food crisis due to the rapid rate of return of refugees from neighbouring countries, who had limited means to support themselves.

4.1 The Wheat Supply/Demand Balance for 1999/2000

Bread is the traditional staple food of the Kosovo population and thus the wheat/wheat flour supply/demand situation is of particular importance in any assessment of the overall food situation. The estimated wheat supply/demand balance for Kosovo for 1999/2000 is shown in Table 5.

Table 5. Kosovo Province of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Wheat Balance for 1999/2000 (tonnes)

Domestic Availability
138 651
Opening Stocks
26 000
Production
112 651
Total Utilization
367 000
Food Consumption
306 000
Animal Feed
-
Seed
30 000
Losses
6 000
Closing Stocks
25 000
Import Requirement
228 349
Food Aid Deliveries/Pledges*
143 000
Uncovered Deficit
85 349

* This figure has been converted back from wheat flour to grain equivalent using a ratio of 0.75 tonnes of flour from
1 tonne of wheat grain.

The Mission has estimated the total stocks of wheat or wheat flour in wheat equivalent at the beginning of the 1999/2000 July/June marketing year at about 26 000 tons. Of the total, an estimated 10 000 tonnes is accounted for by stocks of food aid which had already been transported into Kosovo by WFP and other donors in late June and were awaiting distribution to beneficiaries. A further 4 000 tonnes of wheat were estimated to be in the hands of some 250 000 returnees who had received rations for one month when they moved back into the Province. The Mission estimated that there were virtually no wheat stocks held in the private sector at the beginning of July.

Although the Mission was unable to locate any official data on the level of stocks in the state sector, information gathered during field visits, and in particular interviews with staff of state-run mills, indicated that their stocks were in the order of 8 000 tonnes. Finally, an estimated 4 000 tonnes of wheat seed was held in a state-run seed plant in the municipality of Klina. Local experts indicated that of this total, some 3 000 tonnes had been chemically treated and could be used for the autumn sowing, while the remaining 1 000 tonnes was untreated and of dubious quality for seed purposes.

Thus, with wheat production in 1999 estimated by the Mission at about 113 000 tonnes, total domestic availability in the 1999/2000 July/June marketing year amounts to 139 000 tonnes.

With regard to utilization, based on historical consumption records from the Economic Chamber, the average per capita consumption of wheat as food in the Province over the past few years has been about 180 kg per year, comparing closely with consumption levels throughout the Balkans region. Based on this, and assuming a population of 1.7 million1 in the middle of the current year, total food consumption of wheat is estimated at 306 000 tonnes. Other uses of wheat estimated by the Mission are for seed at 30 000 tonnes, and a working stock level of 25 000 tonnes at the end of the year, which is equivalent to about one month's wheat consumption. Post-harvest losses are estimated at 6 000 tonnes or equivalent to 5 percent of the forecast output. This rate of losses is somewhat higher than that normally expected in the Province due to the poor condition of this year's crops and the difficulties experienced during the harvest.

Thus with the total wheat utilization estimated at 367 000 tonnes, and only 139 000 tonnes anticipated to be available from domestic sources, there is an import requirement of some 228 000 tonnes for the 1999/2000 marketing year. Food aid deliveries and pledges so far amount to some 143 000 tonnes of wheat for the first 6 months of the year from July through December 1999. This leaves an uncovered wheat import requirement of about 85 000 tonnes which will have to be met by commercial imports and/or further food aid donations in the January to June 2000 period.

As mentioned earlier, in the past few years private trade contributed significantly towards meeting the Province's total food needs, including some of the wheat requirements, although absolute volumes are difficult to ascertain. At the time of the Mission, trade in food items had resumed remarkably rapidly throughout the Province, although the origin of products has changed. Now, products are mainly coming from or through the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro (FRY), or Albania, rather than from elsewhere in FRY. The current availability of the 1999 new wheat crop (although sharply reduced from its normal level) and the significant quantities of food aid wheat flour arriving in the Province, largely preclude any private wheat import activity during this initial period. However, given the brisk trade already witnessed for other commodities, it is expected that the sector would respond rapidly to an increase in demand for wheat to cover all or part of the remaining deficit for 1999/2000.

4.2 Emergency food assistance requirement

The level of food aid needs in Kosovo is dependent on the pace of recovery of Kosovo's economy from massive destruction inflicted by the recent conflict, and the many years of economic stagnation preceding it. There are already signs of a rapid recovery in the trade and service sectors of the least damaged towns such as Pristina and Prizren, but this should not obscure the much more fundamental problem affecting much of the rural economy, which is the loss of a substantial proportion of one year's agricultural production and its associated income, plus massive destruction of property, productive assets including livestock. The timeframe for even an initial sign of recovery of the agricultural sector is at least one year.

The recovery of the non-agricultural sectors of the economy depends primarily upon the magnitude and timing of rehabilitation projects that will provide direct employment and a general stimulus to the urban and rural economies, and upon private investment in economic activities, mainly by resident and expatriate Kosovo Albanians. In particular, the need for food aid will decrease as UNMIK phases into supporting the public sector, increasing employment opportunities for white collar employees.

The speed with which the non-agricultural sectors of the economy will recover is not yet known, but it is safe to conclude that food aid will have an important role in providing direct support to the Kosovo population for at least the next six months, and probably longer. This is the basis of WFP's planning of a 6 month Emergency Operation at this stage.

In addition to the majority of Kosovar Albanians, there are minority groups (mainly Serbs and Roma, but also some Albanian Catholics and Slavic Muslims) that may be in need of food aid , because they lack access to food markets for security reasons.

4.3 The role of food aid

Given the uncertainty over future economic development, WFP has developed a six-month plan of assistance based upon what is, to some extent, a worst case scenario (for example assuming no major increase in remittances or formal employment compared with 1997).

The role of food aid will be:
to reduce the risk of hunger and malnutrition;
to prevent further depletion of assets and cash savings;
to replace lost crop and livestock production;
to improve living standards by reducing expenditure on staple food items and increasing expenditure on vegetables and/or non-food items, including clothing and wood for winter heating;
to promote recovery of the private trading sector, by increasing purchasing power and effective demand.

While the distribution of food aid can release income to be spent on other items, as suggested above, the value of the basic WFP food basket cannot contribute significantly to the very large costs of house reconstruction. These costs will have to be covered by an injection of international funds, from existing family cash savings or by substantial increases in remittance income.

A further factor to consider is the role that food aid can play in stabilising the general situation in Kosovo. There is a danger that in the absence of sufficient food, the long-term social well-being of some families may be jeopardised as they are forced to either borrow money at very high rates of interest or resort to various criminal activities.

4.4 Beneficiaries

The 1999 United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal (CAP) was revised in late July, in order to take into account the implications of the conflict for the population. The food aid component of the revised CAP was based on in-country assessments which took place in early July at the time of the return of Kosovo refugees.

The food aid component will be implemented in two phases beginning with blanket distribution and then moving into a second phase of targeted distribution as from September.

July-August

A blanket distribution is planned for July and August, to meet immediate food needs of the general population and to tide them over until normal food markets can be re-established to supply those with adequate purchasing power. While the proposal is to reach 100 percent of the population during this period, the expectation, given initial logistical and distribution constraints, is that 80 percent of the population (1.36 million) will actually be reached within this period (based upon a resident estimated population in 1999 of 1.7 million).

September-December

This can be termed the maintenance phase of the operation, during which food aid will be targeted to 900 000 beneficiaries (just over half of the population).

WFP will have an overall role in coordinating food assistance to Kosovo. Details of beneficiary numbers are provided in table 6.

Assistance will be provided to people resident in their own homes in both urban and rural areas and to those who have lost their homes and have become internally displaced from rural areas to the towns.

Table 6. Kosovo - Food Aid Beneficiaries in Revised 1999 United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal

 
Beneficiaries
of WFP assistance
 
Beneficiaries
of assistance
from other donors
 
TOTAL
beneficiaries of assistance coordinated by WFP
Number
% of Kosovo population *
July-August
900 000
460 000
1 360 000
80%
September-December
600 000
300 000
900 000
53%

* Based upon a resident estimated population in 1999 of 1.7 million.

The next appeal will be prepared towards the end of 1999 with the revised assessment of needs based upon on-going monitoring of the situation and from qualitative and quantitative data. WFP is establishing both a Vulnerability Assessment Mapping Unit as well as a Household Food Economy Analysis capacity which will permit this to be done effectively.

4.5 Targeting

Targeting will be organised in two stages, geographically and community-based. A number of factors will be taken into account for geographic targeting such as level of physical destruction, loss of crop and livestock production and internal displacement of the population (from destroyed villages to the towns).

Community based targeting will be undertaken by grassroots organisations including the Mother Teresa Society (MTS), the Yugoslav and Serb Red Cross and various religious organisations. WFP is working with its international NGO partners and with these grassroots organisations to agree on the criteria for this type of targeting. The main grassroots implementing partner operating in the Kosovar Albanian areas, the MTS, has been operating in Kosovo since 1990. It has resident volunteers in the vast majority of villages and at neighbourhood level in the urban areas. It also has a proven track record of targeting assistance according to specified socio-economic criteria. Another factor likely to result in successful targeting is the community pressure on families and individuals not to seek assistance from MTS other than in case of genuine need.

4.6 Food Basket

WFP-UNHCR undertook a review mission to the Balkan region in early June 1999. Given the cold winter climate conditions in the region in particular, the mission recommended a per capita daily ration of 2250 Kcal, including 2100 Kcal originating from basic food commodities. An additional ration of 200 Kcal will be provided during the harsh winter months of November and December. These figures constitute the basis of the WFP emergency operation. The WFP basic food ration per capita and per month includes:

A proportion of the wheat flour will be used for WFP bread distribution/production using local capacity as a short-term intervention until mid-October justified by some beneficiaries' need for a staple food requiring no cooking.

The quantities of cereals and pulses already resourced for the remainder of 1999 are presented in Table 7.

Table 7. Kosovo - Cereals and Pulses Resourced through the Revised UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal, July - December 1999 (tonnes)

 
Distributed by WFP
Distributed by other donors
Total
Wheat flour
75 641
31 900
107 541
Rice
8 400
1 500
9 900
Beans
14 308
2 850
17 158
Total
98 349
36 250
134 599

 

4.7 Monitoring

Both the WFP Vulnerability Assessment Mapping Unit as well as the Household Food Economy Analysis capacity will permit on-going monitoring of developments within the food economy. The ultimate aim is to identify problem areas so that corrective measures can be taken and to update the assessment of needs in preparation for the next appeal.

International NGOs, in collaboration with grassroots organisations, are responsible for distribution and end-use monitoring, including tracking global food movements and beneficiary numbers. WFP's own field staff are carrying out qualitative and quantitative monitoring involving verification of data through spot checks. Monitoring is gender specific and takes into account the percentage of beneficiary families headed by women and their control over family food entitlements.

4.8 Logistics

Most of the food delivered into Kosovo arrives through the ports of Thessaloniki (Greece) and more recently Bar (Montenegro). The remainder arrives overland from within the region. WFP does not use storage facilities in the port of Thessaloniki and food is transported directly to Kosovo via FYRoM. The port of Bar (also used for food aid to Montenegro, Central Serbia and Vojvodina), has adequate storage and handling facilities as well as inexpensive land routes.

From the ports, commercial forwarders transport the food. Recently, WFP has begun to utilise the railway from Thessaloniki to Kosovo. It is hoped that the railways will offer the opportunity to bypass the road congestion from FYRoM to Kosovo expected during the winter reconstruction period.

WFP and UNHCR have for operational purposes divided Kosovo into seven Areas of Responsibility (Djakovica, Gnjilane, Mitrovica, Pec, Pristina, Prizren, Urosevac), with an international NGO identified as implementing partner (IP) for each AOR. Each IP supports/uses local grassroots organisations as food distribution partners.

APPENDIX I : Kosovo Province of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Municipalities

No.
Serbian Names
Albanian Names
No.
Serbian Names
Albanian Names
1
Decani
Decan
16
Orahovac
Rahovec
2
Djakovica
Gjakovë
17
Pec
Pejë
3
Glogovac
Gllogovc
18
Podujevo
Podujevë
4
Gnjilane
Gjilan
19
Pristina
Prishtinë
5
Gora
Dragash
20
Prizren
Prizren
6
Istok
Istog
21
Srbica
Skenderaj
7
Kacanik
Kaçanik
22
Stimlje
Shtime
8
Klina
Klinë
23
Strpce
Shterpcë
9
Kosovo Polje
Fushe Kosovë
24
Suva Reka
Suharekë
10
Kosovska Kamenica
Kamenicë
25
Urosevac
Ferizaj
11
Kosovska Mitrovica
Mitrovicë
26
Vitina
Viti
12
Leposavic
Liposaviq
27
Vucitrn
Vushtrri
13
Lipljan
Lipjan
28
Zubin Potok
Zubin Potok
14
Novo Brdo
Novobërdë
29
Zvecan
Zvecan

 

APPENDIX II : Kosovo Province of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Mission Route

Undisplayed Graphic

 

 

This report is prepared on the responsibility of the FAO and WFP Secretariats with information from official and unofficial sources. Since conditions may change rapidly, please contact the undersigned for further information if required.

Abdur Rashid
Chief, GIEWS FAO
Telex 610181 FAO I
Fax: 0039-06-5705-4495
E-mail:GIEWS1@FAO.ORG

Ms. J. Cheng-Hopkins
Regional Director, OAC, WFP
Telex: 626675 WFP 1
Fax: 0039-06-6513-2863
E-Mail: Judy.Cheng-Hopkins@WFP.ORG

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1 This figure is based on pre-war census data adjusted to account for natural growth, out-migration, the number of Albanian Kosovar refugees not expected to return during the coming year, the humanitarian evacuation programme and the recent exodus of Serbs from the Province.