|Foodcrops and shortages
Global Information and Early Warning System on food and agriculture
AFRICA: In eastern Africa, massive relief assistance is required for nearly 16 million people, half of them in Ethiopia, facing severe food shortages, mainly due to drought. Pastoralists in the sub-region have been the worst affected particularly in south-eastern Ethiopia. where starvation-related deaths are being increasingly reported. Cyclone "Hudah" has devastated north-east Madagascar, already severely affected by two successive cyclones in February and March. The cyclone hit Mozambique with less intensity, but the maize crop in the important growing provinces may have been affected.
ASIA: A serious food supply situation has developed in Mongolia after the worst winter weather in 30 years killed large numbers of livestock which are vital for food security. An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission has just returned from East Timor where food problems are likely to ease with the upcoming harvest of main crops. The food supply situation remains precarious in DPR Korea. Prolonged drought has seriously affected crops in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the CIS, economically vulnerable populations in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Tajikistan continue to need food aid.
CENTRAL (including the Caribbean) & SOUTH AMERICA: In South America, a prolonged drought has seriously affected crops in Uruguay and Paraguay, while in Bolivia, heavy rains and flooding have affected maturing crops. In Venezuela, despite the devastating floods and mudslides last December, the food supply situation is stable. Reconstruction of infrastructure and agricultural rehabilitation programmes are underway. In the Caribbean, prolonged dry weather in Jamaica has affected minor foodcrops, mainly vegetables.
EUROPE: Large-scale international aid continues to be provided in the Balkan countries, although a reduction in the number of beneficiaries in the Kosovo Province of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is underway, reflecting improvements in economic conditions. Displaced populations and host families in Ingushetia, as well as returnees to Chechnya continue to need considerable humanitarian assistance, including food aid, shelter, water and sanitation. In 1999/2000 the Russian Federation has received some 3 million tonnes of food aid.
NORTH AMERICA: In the United States, widespread rains in late March in the main cereal producing areas, following several months of dry weather, greatly benefited developing wheat crops and improved conditions for coarse grains planting. In Canada, the bulk of the wheat and coarse grains crops are spring sown and the main sowing period is May-June. Early indications of farmers planting intentions point to a possible increase in wheat area.
OCEANIA: In Australia, widespread rains in March have ensured good soil moisture for the 2000 winter crop season due to start in May. Early indications point to a possible reduction in wheat area but increased barley plantings in response to current price prospects, which are somewhat better for the latter crop.