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 UN-ADMINISTERED PROVINCE OF KOSOVO

24 July 2000



Mission Highlights

  • The 1999/2000 cropping season has seen a sharp recovery in agricultural production in Kosovo after severe war-related losses in 1999. This reflects the considerable will and resourcefulness of farmers to re-establish their activities as well as timely assistance from the international community.


  • The Mission forecasts wheat production in 2000 at about 231 000 tonnes, which is more than double the estimate of last year's crop but is, nevertheless, just 60 percent of the level of production reported to have been achieved in 1989 before the decline of the agricultural sector.


  • The wheat import requirement for the marketing year 2000/2001 (July/June) is estimated at 129 000 tonnes, of which about 15 000 tonnes of food aid wheat are still to be delivered for completion of the current food aid plan and, approximately 7 000 tonnes of wheat seed imports are expected as aid for the autumn 2000 wheat planting. This leaves an uncovered wheat import deficit of 107 000 tonnes.


  • Maize production is forecast at 261 200 tonnes. However, as tasselling had only just begun in a few localized sites, the estimate is tentative and should be updated as the season progresses.


  • The current assessment of agriculture shows that foodcrop production this year will be sufficient to ensure access for a large part of the rural population to the food commodities required for their own consumption over the next 12 months. Thus, a further phase-down of food aid in the July-September period can continue as planned.


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1. OVERVIEW

An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM) visited the UN-Administered Province of Kosovo (Kosovo) between June 14 and June 28 to: (i) assess prospects for crop production in 2000; (ii) review overall food supply situation and prospects and the need for further food aid intervention during the 2000/2001 marketing year and (iii) re-examine the degree of vulnerability and ways to improve future food aid targeting. The Mission's findings are based on discussions with UN and bilateral agencies, NGOs and municipal staff and local key informants, viz. farmers, millers and traders during field trips to 27 of the 30 municipalities in Kosovo.

The Mission found that the past twelve months, since the end of the spring 1999 crisis, have witnessed considerable progress in the rehabilitation of agriculture in Kosovo and sharp recovery in agricultural production, reflecting the considerable will and resourcefulness of farmers to re-establish their activities as well as timely assistance from the international community.

The Mission forecasts wheat production in 2000 at about 231 000 tonnes, from a harvested area of 86 600 hectares. This is more than double the estimate of last year's crop, but only 60 percent of the level of production reported to have been achieved in 1989 before the decline in the agricultural sector.

On the basis of the above forecast, and taking into account other parameters of wheat supply and utilization, the Mission prepared a wheat supply/demand balance for the 2000/2001 (July/June) marketing year, which indicates an import requirement of 129 000 tonnes. Against this requirement, some 22 000 tonnes of food and seed wheat are expected to be delivered during the year for aid programmes already planned, leaving an uncovered import gap of 107 000 tonnes.

The Mission noted that the Kosovo milling sector and independent traders are generally well prepared to meet the domestic shortfall in 2000/2001, over and above the food aid which is already planned. However, after several months of relatively unchanging flour prices due to the stabilizing effect of large food aid supplies, flour prices may increase somewhat in the coming months with the planned phase-down of food aid. The extent of any such price rise will be closely linked to the availability and cost of exportable supplies elsewhere in the Balkans and the rest of central and eastern Europe.

Regarding emergency food aid, WFP food economy assessment teams have been closely following developments in Kosovo over the past twelve months. The initial `blanket feeding' approach adopted immediately after the crisis in spring 1999 lasted until the end of August 1999 to allow readjustment and commercial activity to restart. From September through March 2000, targeted distribution was initiated to approximately half of the estimated families in Kosovo. A further phase-down from April 2000 reduced the number of families receiving aid to about one-third, based on the observation that reduced household expenditure on winter items freed up cash for food while, at the same time, increased business activity and improved employment opportunities were leading to increased income.

Confirming earlier forecasts, the current assessment of food needs availability and access as well as agriculture shows that the harvest of wheat and other crops from July will be sufficient to ensure access for a large part of the rural population to the food commodities required for their own consumption over the next 12 months. Thus, a further phase-down of food aid in the July-September period can continue as planned.

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2. SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONTEXT

2.1 Background

An internationally-brokered agreement between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) authorities and Albanian Kosovars, reached in early June 1999, brought and end to intense hostilities in the early part of the year. During that period, there had been a massive exodus of Kosovars from their homes and widespread destruction within the province. By early June 1999, about 750 000 refugees had fled to neighbouring countries, 150 000 people had been displaced to other parts of Serbia and Montenegro, and 600 000 people were internally displaced within the province.

On June 10, 1999, the UN Security Council passed resolution 1244 which brought about a formal end to hostilities and authorized deployment of an international security force (KFOR). The Resolution also established a UN-managed civilian administration, the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), as the transitional administration of the province. Large-scale spontaneous returns of refugees began shortly after the first security forces entered Kosovo in early June. By end August, some 90 percent of the Albanian Kosovars who had fled the province in early 1999 had returned. However, concurrent with the return of the refugees, the vast majority of the Serb Kosovars living in Kosovo before the conflict fled the province quickly.

2.2 The economy

Kosovo has fertile agricultural land and a rich mineral and natural resource base but for many years has been considered amongst the poorest regions in Europe. Despite large-scale development and investment in the 1980s, particularly in the extraction industries, GDP in the province remained well below the average in other parts of Europe. The situation worsened in Kosovo in 1989, when it lost its status as an autonomous region. This had a severe adverse impact on all sectors of the economy, including the rural areas, and GDP contracted by 50 percent, falling to less than US$400 per capita between 1989 and 1995.

The increasing unemployment in the 1990s triggered a wave of migration, and a total of 400 000 Albanian Kosovars (roughly 20 percent of the pre-conflict population) are estimated to have left the province in the early part of the decade. During this period, the economy of Kosovo was radically transformed into one that depended very heavily upon the trade and services sectors, fuelled by income from remittances from relatives abroad. Thus, despite often-difficult operating conditions, the private sector of the economy boomed in the early 1990s fuelled by the necessity to meet the basic requirements of the population.

2.3 The agriculture sector

The province is almost completely surrounded by mountains, ranging from 900m in the southeast, along the border with The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to more than 2 400m along the northwest 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 divided by a fragmented range of mountains reaching some 1 200m. The agricultural systems are defined by the topography of the region and its associated rainfall, and 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 Kosovo 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, which are harvested from late-June/July, and spring-sown maize, sunflower and vegetables, which are harvested during the summer. The cropping calendar is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Kosovo Crop Calendar

Undisplayed Graphic

During the 1970s and 1980s significant investment was made in agriculture in both the private and public sectors. Irrigation schemes were established to enhance production of spring-sown crops, mechanization became almost total, and heavy use of inputs characterized production systems. Many farmers belonged to cooperatives, which were formed to support marketing of agricultural produce, to give farmers collective buying power for required inputs, and to provide credit.

From 1989, however, the agricultural sector of Kosovo suffered along with other sectors of the economy. Many public enterprises fell into decline and cooperatives broke up. Most irrigation schemes were rendered useless by lack of repair and maintenance and other support structures disappeared. In most instances, areas of cropland allocated to state bodies ceased to be farmed. As a result, by the second half of the 1990s, the sector was characterized by mostly small farms producing staple food and feed crops for subsistence consumption and direct cash-income for basic needs. The area under field crops other than cereals, such as sugar beet, tobacco and oilseeds, declined substantially due to falling prices and factory closures. Only a few exceptions remained including the oilseeds and vegetable companies of Djakovica-Gjakove and the vineyards of Glogovac-Gllogoc and Prizren. The public animal production sub-sector, which had previously included substantial dairy herds and poultry units, collapsed over the same period.

However, although an absence of credit reduced input use sharply in the 1990s compared to pre-1989 levels, farmers continued to buy some fertilizer for basal and top dressing for wheat, maize, potatoes and vegetables. Furthermore, despite the small size of holdings (1 to 5 hectares), mechanization remained 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 still the most common, serving as multipurpose power units for cultivation, transport and haulage in all rural areas. The use of animal draught power is mostly limited to horse-drawn carts in rural towns and the occasional weeding of maize fields.

In the summer of 1999, after the end of the spring war-related crisis, and when the bulk of the refugees and IDPs had returned to their homes, a joint FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM) visited Kosovo (August, 1999) to assess the state of crop and food supplies. This Mission found that the rural economy of Kosovo, although already depressed by the developments of the preceding decade, had been severely affected by the unsettled security situation in 1998 and the subsequent severe hostilities in early 1999. The rural population lost a significant proportion of the 1999 agricultural production, the degree of loss varying from municipality to municipality. Wheat production had been only about 40 percent of the average output during the immediately preceding years, that of maize only 20 percent of the average, while spring/summer vegetable production was almost zero. There had also been widespread looting and slaughter of livestock resulting in the loss of 50 percent of cattle, 65 percent of sheep and 70 to 80 percent of poultry and pigs.

2.4 Agriculture rehabilitation in the past twelve months

The past twelve months have witnessed considerable progress in the rehabilitation of agriculture in the Kosovo, reflecting the considerable will and resourcefulness of farmers to re-establish their activities as well as timely assistance from the international community. Under the umbrella of UNMIK - Pillar II (Civil Administration), a Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development has been established. Gradually, Municipality Agricultural Offices are being established.

FAO, as the leading UN agency for agriculture, has been coordinating efforts of the international community to address the immediate emergency needs of the agricultural sector following the spring 1999 crisis and also supporting efforts conducive to recovery and sustained development of the sector which already operated under difficult conditions over the past decade.

Since July 1999, when FAO started its activities in Kosovo, four short-term projects have been completed. Fifteen are ongoing at the time of writing this report, including the distribution of seeds and fertilizers, multiplication of seeds, livestock vaccination, repair of tractors and combine harvesters as well as reforestation. FAO's total emergency aid has amounted so far to around US$13.5 million, financed by Finland, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. Furthermore, FAO has also collaborated with several NGOs funding their own programmes for agricultural rehabilitation.

Apart from direct assistance to the agriculture sector mentioned above, FAO has also established, together with WFP, a Food Security Surveillance Unit (FAO/WFP FSSU), funded by the US government to monitor the situation of the rural and urban population and to identify needs for further assistance.

Based on the positive results achieved so far, FAO is planning to scale down its emergency assistance in the coming months and the number of beneficiary rural families for agricultural inputs should decrease from 70 000 to about 40 000 by the end of the year.

Simultaneously, FAO is preparing the transition from emergency assistance to rehabilitation by providing policy advice, gathering and disseminating of information and capacity building. This transition phase is being addressed, in particular, through a project, formulated by the World Bank and FAO, aiming at re-launching the rural economy over a two-year period by investing in cattle, farm mechanization, veterinary services and capacity building.

2.5 Population

The last complete census in Kosovo took place in 1981. The ethnic Albanian population largely boycotted the most recent census in 1991. Over the past twelve months local authorities and several international agencies/organizations have worked to improve the estimate of the current population and knowledge on the demographics of Kosovo in general. The Mission had access to the most recent available statistics but as yet no authoritative estimate of population is available.

For the purposes of the wheat supply and demand balance, the Mission has taken the mid-year population for the current 2000/2001 marketing year to be 1.9 million. This is 200 000 more than the estimate used in the FAO/WFP August 1999 Crop Assessment Mission. This increase in population has a very significant effect on domestic requirements. Some of the difference is explained by the subsequent availability of better information. Adjustment has also been made for the actual and expected returns of refugees, humanitarian evacuees and asylum seekers between mid-1999/2000 and mid-2000/2001.

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3. FOOD PRODUCTION AND SUPPLY PROSPECTS IN 2000/2001

The re-establishment of order at municipality level notwithstanding, the administrations emerging are still embryonic. Although in some places agricultural officers with sector and sub-sector responsibilities have been officially appointed by UNMIK, in most municipalities an unofficial structure is still the main point of contact for agricultural information. This system is a continuation of the parallel volunteer organization established over the past decade. As such, it is staffed by the same ex-officio personnel working through community networks. The absence of archives, cadastral surveys or annual farmer returns in all municipalities means that in both official and unofficial circumstances, agricultural production statistics originate from data regularly collected by volunteer agricultural activists working in clusters of 3 to 5 villages in their home areas. Such information was available to the Mission for all Albanian Kosovar villages through the agricultural offices. Agricultural information from minority communities was obtained either by direct contact or from other secondary sources working with these communities.

The Mission teams (2), held detailed semi-structured interviews with the afore-mentioned key informants in 27 out of the 30 municipalities. The meetings were used to crosscheck and update data from a Kosovo-wide survey of this year's agricultural production conducted by the FAO/WFP FSSU in March-April. Further to this, returns from NGOs giving actual input distribution details were invaluable in verifying the availability of seeds and fertilizers and by inference, the probable areas planted using such inputs.

Crop observations from the 27 municipalities visited, field interviews with NGO staff, traders and farmers and reviews of remote-sensing vegetation indices complete the data-set upon which the findings are based.

In keeping with previous reports, this year's estimates are compared with historical averages and last year's Mission estimates for the war-affected main cereal crops of wheat and maize. Area data of other crops are included for comparison purposes; however, yield estimates for spring sown crops other than maize, which is still highly speculative given that the harvest is two or three months away, are beyond the scope of the Mission.

3.1 Cereal production

The Mission's estimates of harvested area and production of wheat and maize are presented in Tables 1 and 2 respectively with 1989 data from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Statistical Yearbook, and the 1999 Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM) estimates.

Table 1: Kosovo Wheat Area, Yield and Production (area: hectares, yield: tonnes /hectare, production: tonnes)

Municipality
 
1989
 
 
1999
 
2000
2000
FRY Statistics Yearbook
FAO CAM - January 2000 1/
FAO CAM - Jan. 2000
Mission - June 2000
Serbian
Albanian
Area
Yield
Prod'n
Area
Yield
Prod'n
Area
Prod'n 2/
Area
Yield
Prod'n
Decani
Decan
747
4.4
3 316
n/a
n/a
n/a
700
1 925
833
2.2
1 833
Djakovica
Gjakove
5 148
4.1
20 850
680
2.2
1 500
4 600
12 650
4 600
2.4
11 040
Glogovac
Gllogoc
4 391
3.4
14 887
300
2.0
600
4 000
11 000
4 100
2.1
8 610
Gnjilane
Gjilan
5 715
3.1
18 002
5 400
3.0
16 200
5 000
13 750
5 200
2.6
13 520
Gora
Dragash
354
1.2
432
n/a
n/a
n/a
400
1 100
400
2.8
1 100
Istok
Istog
3 223
3.8
12 344
300
3.0
900
1 080
2 970
900
2.5
2 250
Kacanik
Kacaniku
1 465
3.1
4 483
600
2.4
1 440
1 100
3 025
1 500
2.9
4 350
Klina
Kline
4 209
3.8
16 035
1 000
2.1
2 100
2 900
7 975
3 100
2.9
8 990
Kosovo Polje
Fushe Kosove
(incl. in Pristina)
(incl. in Pristina)
2 200
6 050
1 800
3.2
5 760
Kosovska Kamenica
Kamenica
5 716
2.9
16 518
2 880
3.0
8 640
4 000
11 000
4 170
2.8
11 676
Kosovska Mitrovica
Mitrovice
1 905
3.1
5 964
400
2.0
800
1 200
3 300
1 170
2.5
2 925
Leposavic
Leposaviq
1 054
2.4
2 519
240
1.8
432
800
2 200
2 100
2.2
4 620
Lipljan
Lipjan
7 286
4.3
31 549
5 800
2.5
14 540
4 905
13 489
6 615
2.9
19 184
Novo Brdo
Novo Berde
(incl. in Gjilane)
 
600
1.4
840
800
2 200
400
2.0
800
Obilic
Obiliq
(incl. in Pristina)
 
  (incl. in Pristina)
1 100
3 025
950
3.0
2 850
Orahovac
Rahovec
3 383
3.8
12 822
540
2.5
1 350
4 000
11 000
2 940
3.0
8 820
Pec
Peje
2 151
3.9
8 326
875
1.4
1 225
2 000
5 500
1 470
3.0
4 410
Podujevo
Podujevo
7 207
3.5
25 297
4 000
2.6
10 400
4 200
11 550
6 000
2.3
13 800
Pristina
Prishtine
10 693
4.3
45 766
2 500
2.0
5 000
3 000
8 250
2 898
2.8
8 114
Prizren
Prizren
4 611
3.9
18 166
3 900
2.0
7 800
5 100
14 025
5 100
2.9
14 790
Srbica
Skenderaj
6 242
3.4
21 162
540
2.0
1 080
3 500
9 625
4 128
2.8
11 558
Stimilje
Shtime
(incl. in Urosevac)
   
580
2.1
1 218
1 000
2 750
1 200
3.0
3 600
Strpce
Shtrepce
(incl. in Urosevac)
 
80
2.0
160
100
275
200
2.0
400
Suva Reka
Suhareke
3 923
3.7
14 399
450
1.9
860
4 000
11 000
3 708
2.7
10 012
Urosevac
Ferijaz
7 767
3.7
28 817
4 000
2.6
10 400
4 000
11 000
4 500
3.0
13 500
Vitina
Viti
5 333
3.6
19 359
3 600
2.5
9 000
4 000
11 000
5 400
2.5
13 500
Vucitrn
Vushtrri
5 870
3.3
19 607
3 000
1.7
5 100
4 266
11 732
4 280
3.0
12 840
Zubin Potok
Zubin Potok
605
2.2
1 307
400
1.8
720
500
1 375
1 000
2.1
2 100
Zvecane
Zvecan
n/a
n/a
n/a
175
2.0
350
350
963
600
2.3
1 380
Malisheva 3/
Malisheve 3/
4 379
3.8
16 727
-
-
-
4 000
11 000
5 324
2.3
12 245
TOTAL
 
103 377
3.7
378 654
42 840
2.4
102 655
78 801
216 703
86 586
2.7
230 577

1/ The 1999 FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission estimates were revised by an FAO Crop Assessment Mission in January 2000.
2/ The FAO Crop Assessment Mission in January 2000 assumed an average yield of 2.75 based on early indications at that time.
3/ From 1990-1999 Malisheva was included in the surrounding municipalities of Klina, Glogovac and Suva Reka.

Table 2: Kosovo Maize Area, Yield and Production (area: hectares, yield: tonnes /hectare, production: tonnes)

Municipality
 
1989
1999
2000
FRY Statistics Yearbook
FAO/WFP CFSAM - August 1999
Mission - June 2000
Serbian
Albanian
Area
Yield
Prod'n
Area
Yield
Prod'n
Area
Yield
Prod'n
Decani
Decan
2 767
2.8
7 721
360
3.0
1 080
2800
3.0
8 400
Djakovica
Gjakove
3 942
2.1
8 317
700
2.0
1 400
4250
3.0
12 750
Glogovac
Gllogoc
3 895
2.0
7 906
500
2.0
1 000
2440
2.2
5 368
Gnjilane
Gjilan
5 769
1.8
10 500
1 200
3.5
4 200
3800
2.8
10 640
Gora
Dragash
99
0.7
72
n/a
n/a
n/a
80
4.5
360
Istok
Istog
3 022
2.1
6 286
150
3.0
450
2100
3.4
7 140
Kacanik
Kacaniku
1 453
0.7
988
n/a
n/a
n/a
1400
2.7
3 780
Klina
Kline
4 888
1.9
9 238
2 000
3.0
6 000
3481
3.5
12 184
Kosovo Polje
Fushe Kosove
(incl. in Pristina)
 
  (incl. in Pristina)
  1900
  3.5
6 650
Kosovska Kamenica
Kamenica
5 316
1.4
7 655
400
3.5
1 400
2430
3.0
7 290
Kosovska Mitrovica
Mitrovice
2 077
1.5
3 219
200
3.0
600
540
3.0
1 620
Leposavic
Leposaviq
1 153
1.2
1 337
n/a
n/a
n/a
1800
3.5
6 300
Lipljan
Lipjan
6 313
1.2
7 576
2 000
3.0
6 000
7655
2.8
21 434
Novo Brdo
Novo Berde
(incl. in Gjilane)
 
n/a
n/a
n/a
350
2.7
4 180
Obilic
Obiliq
(incl. in Pristina)
 
  (incl. in Pristina)
  1100
3.8
4 180
Orahovac
Rahovec
3 027
2.1
6 326
600
3.0
1 800
4200
4.0
16 800
Pec
Peje
4 815
2.7
13 049
800
3.0
2 400
3215
3.8
12 217
Podujevo
Podujevo
6 730
1.1
7 134
2 500
3.0
7 500
4600
3.3
15 180
Pristina
Prishtine
7 829
1.6
12 839
2 000
3.0
6 000
3536
3.5
12 376
Prizren
Prizren
3 748
1.9
7 233
1 500
1.9
2 850
3270
3.5
11 445
Srbica
Skenderaj
4 853
1.8
8 735
400
3.0
1 200
5056
3.0
15 168
Stimilje
Shtime
(incl. in Urosevac)
 
n/a
n/a
n/a
610
2.8
1 708
Strpce
Shtrepce
(incl. in Urosevac)
 
n/a
n/a
n/a
300
2.7
810
Suva Reka
Suhareke
3 771
1.1
3 960
1 500
2.5
3 750
3500
3.3
11 550
Urosevac
Ferijaz
7 043
1.3
8 874
1 500
2.5
3 750
3800
3.3
12 540
Vitina
Viti
5 138
2.2
11 253
500
2.5
1 250
7100
2.8
19 880
Vucitrn
Vushtrri
5 156
1.9
9 539
2 000
2.3
4 600
3200
3.8
12 160
Zubin Potok
Zubin Potok
534
1.1
614
n/a
n/a
n/a
700
3.3
2 310
Zvecane
Zvecan
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
300
3.3
990
Malisheva 1/
Malisheve 1/
3 667
1.0
3 667
-
-
-
2 934
2.4
7 042
TOTAL
 
97 005
1.7
164 038
20 810
2.8
57 230
82 447
3.2
261 216

1/ From 1990-1999 Malisheve was included in the surrounding municipalities of Klina, Glogovac and Suva Reka

The Mission forecasts total production of wheat at 230 600 tonnes from a harvested area of 86 600 hectares, which is more than double the adjusted 1999 CFSAM estimate1 of last year's crop, but only 60 percent of the level of production reported to be achieved in 1989 before the decline in the agricultural sector. Maize production is forecast at 261 200 tonnes from 82 400 hectares, however, as tasselling had only just begun in a few localized sites, the estimate is tentative and should be updated as the season progresses.

Factors affecting wheat area

The only autumn sown cereal of any significance this year was wheat. As noted in the FAO January 2000 Crop Assessment Mission (CAM), weather conditions at planting were optimal in most municipalities with warm temperatures and adequate rainfall continuing until late November. Such conditions encouraged the sowing of an estimated 86 600 hectares. The prolonged sowing period allowed time for a) tractor sharing through mutual support systems; b) significant provision of NGO ploughing services and c) contract ploughing for farmers by farmers. The cost of land preparation varied from fuel costs only to the highest noted contractors' charge of 480 DM per hectare, which included ploughing at 200 DM, discing and harrowing at 100 DM per hectare each and seed drilling at 80 DM per hectare. In most municipalities the noted charges ranged from 230 to 250 DM per hectare for all land preparation operations2.

The combined FAO/NGO wheat seed campaign provided 15 626 tonnes of seed, enough for 60 percent of the sown area at 300 kg per hectare. Remaining seeds required were purchased from agricultural suppliers or were carried over from last year's harvest. These local sources were noted to have made particularly important contributions (c. 50 percent or more) in Decani-Decan, Kacanik-Kacaniku, Kosovska Kamenica-Kamenica, Gjilane-Gjilani, Lipljan-Lipjan, Novo Brdo-Novo Berde, Urosevac-Ferizaj, Vitina-Viti, Pristina-Prishtine, Podujevo-Podujeve and Malisheva-Malisheve.

The current area estimate of 86 600 hectares is higher than the estimate in January due to the inclusion of the late planted areas and improved access to information from northern minority municipalities where expanded sowing was noted. These aggregate figures mask reduced estimates for Orahovac-Rahovec and Pec-Peje where more maize and vegetables than anticipated were planted.

Given the current situation regarding working and repairable combine-harvesters and an anticipated sharing of resources both within and between municipalities, the Mission expects the estimated area to be harvested within 45 days.

Factors affecting wheat yield

Wheat yields depend mostly on the time of sowing and prevailing weather conditions from sowing to harvest. This year, the selected varieties from all sources were deemed appropriate and sown under optimal or near-optimal weather conditions at the normal seed rates. Where aid donations provided less than the habitual average of about 300 kg per hectare, farmers supplemented seed stocks through local purchases. In all cases FAO/NGO supported and commercially purchased seeds were reported to have been clean from weed seed and dressed with fungicides reducing the expected weed competition and increasing resistance to seed-borne diseases.

In 20 municipalities, compound fertilizer (NPK 15:15:15) for basal dressing was available on time to meet planting requirements, however, in most circumstances the donated quantity was lower than is historically considered to be desirable. Farmers with available cash supplemented donations with local purchases to make good the deficit. Those farmers outside the beneficiary network used locally purchased NPK but the complete absence of credit or delayed payment schemes restricted access for farmers without cash for direct payment. It is likely that rather than growing wheat without fertilizer such farmers sowed oats in the spring.

Applications of nitrogenous fertilizers (KAN or Urea) early in the spring, were limited by poor availability of commercial supplies. However, shortfalls were made good later in the season when commercial availability improved or by late interventions of aid. Consequently, it is possible that more fertilizer was applied this spring than in the recent past.

Very cold temperatures in winter and a drier spring and early summer reduced pest and disease challenges. Only birds, weeds and wild pigs were reported as being a concern to farmers. Birds were noted as a problem close to the broadleaf forest areas, wild pigs in the hilly areas of Suva Reka-Suhareke, whereas weed competition was universal. However, reasonable tillage, clean seeds and some use of herbicides, mainly through commercial purchases and a few limited aid donations, mean that weed infestation is not as bad as was anticipated earlier in the season.

The main yield-determining factor this year was the exceptionally low April-May rainfall with proportionally greater reductions noted in the eastern municipalities. Yields will, therefore, vary according to the length of the dry spell in April-May, soil water holding capacity and local ambient temperatures. Estimates vary from 2.0 to 3.2 tonnes per hectare, with an average of 2.7 tonnes per hectare. This results in a forecast wheat harvest of 230 500 tonnes. The quality of the wheat grain is expected to be highly variable according to location and time of drying in the field before harvest.

Factors affecting maize area

Maize is by far the most important spring cereal sown in Kosovo, usually accounting for a greater surface area than wheat. The maize area this year is estimated at 82 400 hectares, 16 percent less than areas reported to be sown before the war. This connects to reduced cattle, sheep and pig numbers following war-induced losses and a perceived lack of profitability in growing maize for sale given standard retail prices of 0.3 to 0.35 DM per kg when production costs, at current machinery and labour charges and assuming a yield of 3.5 tonnes per hectare, are around 0.32 DM per kg3.

Conditions for planting maize were drier than normal, which allowed good land preparation. Seeds were available from both aid donations and commercially, and given the average seed rate of 25 kg per hectare, were easily within the family budget for those farmers not benefiting from aid donations. Re-seeding with local varieties following failed or poor germination of aid seed was noted in Djakovica-Gjakove, Urosevac-Ferizaj and Prizren.

Factors affecting maize yield

As with the wheat crop, the maize season, so far has been pest and disease free except for birds in the wooded areas and wild pigs in the piedmont areas. Hand-weeding, at least twice per plot within the first three months, is an established norm and was undertaken everywhere with vigour this year using mostly family labour or farmer to farmer labour exchanges.

Both basal and top-dressing fertilizers were available through aid donations and commercially, the latter only being accessible for farmers with available cash because of the total lack of credit or delayed payment schemes. Nevertheless, the state of the growing crops and discussions with the fertilizer suppliers suggest significant quantities were used. Regarding water requirements, despite the dry spring, few fields show signs of chronic moisture stress due to sufficient residual soil moisture in the lower lying areas, and widespread rains from mid-June. The rehabilitation of some drainage canals on the Prizren plain and the cleaning of a proportion of the delivery canals in Istok-Istog, Pec-Peje, Decani-Decan, Djakovica-Gjakove, Orahovec-Rahovec, plus the increased use of motor irrigation pumps in municipalities away from the established schemes suggest that some 20 percent of the maize may be irrigated.

Judging from a universally applied planting density of about 50 000 plants per hectare and a minimal use of fertilizer of 200 kg (100 kg NPK; 100 kg KAN) per hectare and the approximate proportion of irrigated crops, average yield is estimated at 3.2 tonnes per hectare. This results in a harvest of 261 200 tonnes from 82 400 hectares. Such figures mask local patchiness encompassing poorly germinating fields, which were not re-sown, hillside fields with yields around one tonne per hectare and, a plethora of backyard or garden plots producing some 7 to 8 tonnes per hectare.

As tasselling had only just begun in the more advanced fields during the time of the Mission, these estimates are tentative and need to be revised in the next two months.
An estimated 53 percent of the maize area is considered by the Mission to be intercropped with beans at observed planting densities ranging from 1 to 5 plants per square meter. The beans are pole-type lima beans (known as white beans). Yields will vary considerably according to plant density. At an average of 350 kg per hectare, total production will be around 15 300 tonnes.

Other spring cereals

The other spring cereals, oats and barley, are grown for cattle feed and malting respectively. Oats are found mostly in the piedmont areas and Podujevo-Podujevo, cut and fed as bundles (sheaves). Of the barley, 95 percent is grown on public sector land, by cooperatives, on contract to the Pec-Peje brewery. The largest areas noted were in Klina-Kline, Kosovo Polje-Fushe Kosove and Pristina-Prishtine. This year's barley area is estimated at 1 800 hectares and that of oats at 2 800 hectares. Yields are expected to be lower than average.

3.2 Vegetable and fruit production

In contrast to the dismal assessment of last year's vegetable production, this year's outlook aptly reflects the industriousness of the farming population and the timely international support given by the donor community. Green-houses abandoned last year, in Orahovec-Rahovec and Prizren, are now functioning units supporting vegetable wholesalers and some 16 300 hectares of unprotected (field-crop) peppers, cabbages, tomatoes and watermelons are being cultivated for sale by the traditional vegetable-producing smallholders. Further, the distribution of donated packages of vegetable seeds has encouraged the re-establishment of backyard production in about 100 000 households.

Resurgence in potato growing has been encouraged through the availability of high quality seed and fertilizers, partly supported by donor aid. In every municipality rain-fed and irrigated crops were noted at areas ranging from 40 hectares (Kosovska Kamenica-Kamenica) to 1 500 hectares (Podujevo-Podujeve). Specialized potato growers are expecting harvests of 50 to 60 tonnes per hectare given a continuation of the prevailing conditions and the noted reduction in Colorado beetle infestations due to the total break in growing potatoes last year and an exceptionally cold winter. The average yield is, however, estimated at 25 tonnes per hectare from an anticipated 9 300 hectares, giving an estimated overall production of 233 000 tonnes.

Regarding grapes, the Mission observed that household vineyards have, by and large, been rehabilitated in the major wine producing areas. Public sector enterprises receiving assistance from the UNDP (Orahovac-Rahovec) and the Austrian Red Cross (Istok-Istog) are showing signs of recovery as supported weeding, pruning and some spraying prepare the vines for production next year. Enterprises not receiving assistance have been abandoned (Djakovica-Gjakove) and the areas are being rented for sheep and cattle grazing.

Given the non-commercial nature of the remaining fruit sub-sector, the Mission has not been in a position to estimate areas or yields of soft or stone fruits. It is, however, clear that no large-scale industrial crop production/processing enterprises other than the wine factories are operational.

Estimated areas of other crops, including vegetable and fruits are given in Table 3.

Table 3. Kosovo Land Use (000 hectares)

 
19961/
20002/
Cultivatable land
398.8
398.8
Arable area
291.2
297.5
Sown area
263.4
235.6
Cereals
192.9
173.6
Industrial crops
6.1
0.0
Vegetables
28.0
16.33/
Fodder crops
36.4
36.4
Potatoes
n/a
9.3
Fallow lands
27.8
61.34/
Orchards
11.4
11.4
Vineyards
8.7
3.0
Meadows
87.5
87.5
Pastures
178.3
71.35/

1/ FRY Statistical Yearbook.
2/ Mission estimates.
3/ Not including home garden kits distributed to 110 000
households.
4/ Includes unsown cereal and industrial crop and unused
vineyard areas.
5/ Pastures restricted use (Mission estimates 40 percent of
normally used mountain pastures).

3.3 Livestock Production

In 1996 annual statistics for the FRY indicate that some 178 000 hectares of pasture, 87 000 hectares of meadows and 36 000 hectares of fodder crops accommodated 411 000 head of cattle and 375 000 head of sheep in both the public and private sectors. Assuming a calving percentage of 90 percent and a lambing percentage of 100 percent, grazed and conserved forages supported, with supplementary feeding, around 1.2 cow equivalents4 per hectare.

Current spring livestock numbers, derived by the Mission from FAO/WFP FSSU survey data and vaccination returns from staff conducting the FAO vaccination programme in the spring, are 224 000 cattle and 134 000 sheep. This suggests that the current stocking rate would be in the order of 0.78 cow equivalents per hectare if all grazing areas are still accessible. Information from key informants suggests that the northwestern mountain pastures next to Montenegro (FRY) are not being grazed this year due to general perceptions of insecurity. Pastures next to the Albania border are also reported to be under-grazed because of mines. The hill pastures bisecting the central plain, usually used for summer grazing, have been abandoned by Albanian Kosovars because of the destruction of summer steadings, mines and fear of violence.

Access to the northeastern and eastern pastures abutting Serbia (FRY) is also likely to be restricted, which leaves only the ranges next to The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia freely available to Albanian Kosovar herders. Therefore, if some 60 percent of the mountain pastures are de-facto unavailable for summer grazing, the overall stocking rate returns to 1.2 cow equivalents per hectare. This suggests that per capita supplementary feed requirements will remain similar to pre-war levels despite the substantial decrease in numbers. It should however be noted that additional grazing opportunities from abandoned public sector arable land have not been factored into the calculation.

Donor restocking programmes identified by the Mission are preparing to import some 3500 cows and 2000 sheep in the coming year, which, while not affecting the overall stocking rate, may have local implications for the municipalities/villages. It is, therefore, necessary to look at actual access to pastures and stocking rates at a local level to identify strengths and weaknesses in each particular municipality.

This year, despite forecasts of lower production due to war-induced disruption to breeding and nutritional programmes, no reductions in calving or lambing rates were noted although lambing dates, 2 to 3 weeks later than normal were reported in Istog-Istoq.

No significant instances of infectious diseases were noticed with the exception of some reports of orf (contagious pustular dermatitis) in Kosovska Mitrovica-Mitrovice. The clostridial disease vaccination campaign conducted by FAO effectively prevented outbreaks of blackleg or similar diseases to which cattle, sheep and goats may have been predisposed by the disruption. Cases of muscular dystrophy related to vitamin E and selenium deficiency was reported for locations as far apart as Gora-Dragashi and Kovoska Mitrovica-Mitrovice.

Due to the reduced numbers, overall production from the ruminant sub-sector is expected to decline by 50 to 60 percent. Poultry numbers have fallen to 27 percent of pre-war levels to some 740 000 birds. Due to imports there has been no apparent increase in egg prices and poultry meat is much cheaper than previously experienced.

From the above, and assuming a ratio of 6 kg DM (dry matter) per day per cow equivalent for 180 days per year, the existing ruminant population is expected to require at least 255 000 tonnes of supplementary feed of which 50 percent would normally be derived from bran. Given a wheat harvest of 231 000 tonnes, feed bran availability is not expected to be more than 80 000 tonnes, which identifies a maize need of 175 000 tonnes without considering the production related rations for higher-yielding dairy cows, which is expected to be covered by imported concentrates.

Feed requirement for the current poultry industry is likely to be 30 000 tonnes. This may increase if new units are opened in the coming year, however, the current low prices of imported poultry products are not likely to be an incentive for investment. Pig numbers are estimated at 25 000 sows and fatteners which translates to a maize feed requirement of about 18 000 tonnes.

Thus, total maize feed requirement in 2000/2001 is estimated at 223 000 tonnes (ruminants-175 000 tonnes; poultry-30 000 tonnes; and pigs-18 000 tonnes). With a further 3 000 tonnes required for seeds and storage losses estimated at 12 percent, the domestic maize requirement is likely to be about 260 000 tonnes. The Mission's estimated production of 261 000 tonnes also includes a small but locally significant harvest of white maize for human use, which suggests there will be a slight shortfall in maize availability and some imports will be required.

3.4 Recommendations for the agricultural sector

The rapid appraisal approach adopted by the Mission allows broad conclusions to be drawn regarding the agricultural sector. Interventions need to take into consideration the range of performance that will vary greatly between localities and between farmers within localities. To this end, farmer self-recording linked to locally based analytical and advisory services should be introduced as the main platform for agricultural improvement and identification of interventions.

As mentioned earlier in the report, some emergency response projects are already completed and many are underway or will begin shortly by a variety of donors. There needs to be continuous coordination among the international community involved in the rehabilitation of the agricultural sector Kosovo-wide, and at the municipality level, to avoid duplication of efforts. The emerging agricultural offices need to be fully involved and to manage activities and, for general information collection, they need equipment and training in agricultural extension, farm-management analysis and information technology techniques.

Requests for farmer credit, rather than gifts and donations were received from farmers, particularly those working in family groups, and from agricultural administrators with an enlightened view of sustainable development. Such credit would appear to be a fundamental requirement to give farmers the opportunity to some economic viability.

Temporary facilities to store local produce, e.g. refrigerated containers, are likely to be needed in the major commercial vegetable growing areas. Re-establishment of farmer cooperatives this year to support marketing of agricultural produce and give farmers collective buying power for required inputs could also help to improve the financial situation of Kosovo's predominantly small farmers.

In this regard, a review of UNMIK interim taxation laws would also appear to be appropriate. Under its Regulations 1999/3 and 2000/3, UNMIK applies border taxes at Kosovo's international borders. With the exception of some foods, medical supplies, and all goods destined as humanitarian donations, a customs tax of 10 percent and a sales tax of 15 percent are applied to all imported goods for sale in Kosovo. The cumulative application of both taxes (the 15 percent sales tax is applied to the original import value plus the 10 percent customs tax) results in an effective 26.5 percent tax which, when applied to agricultural inputs is counter-productive to economic recovery in the agricultural sector. With reductions in agricultural input aid in 2000/2001 already planned, and currently no domestic supplies available, removal or reduction of these taxes on agricultural inputs would significantly improve farmers' access to them in the next production season.

3.5 Markets and prices

Since July 1999, WFP Kosovo established a price data collection system in order to follow the major trends in staple food commodities. Prices were collected from Pristina and some other major centers around Kosovo. From June 2000, the FAO/WFP FSSU took over the responsibility of maintaining price data and plans to extend the geographical coverage of the price data collection in Kosovo. Chart 1 shows the trend in prices of two major staples from July 1999 to June 2000.

Chart 1: Kosovo - Basic Commodity Prices 1999/2000
Undisplayed Graphic

The price of wheat flour is noted to have remained relatively stable through late 1999 and early 2000 probably reflecting the strong stabilizing role of the food aid distribution on the market over the past months. Higher prices in July and August reflect tighter market supplies connected with the immediate post-crisis period when food aid flour flows were not fully established and before the commercial supply network had been re-established to any extent.

Since May, however, a slight upward movement is evident in the price of flour. This is probably linked to the start of the phase-out of food aid since April. In addition, wheat and wheat flour prices are still closely related to the supply from Serbia (FRY) and, therefore, are sensitive to political restrictions/blockades. Supplies of Serbian flour through informal channels were reported to be reaching Kosovo regularly throughout the past few months, but these sources were said to have dried up in June.

Thus, the outcome of the 2000 wheat harvest in the wider area of the Balkans and the rest of central and eastern Europe, where traders may look to buy wheat, is also likely to have some influence on the eventual price of wheat/flour on the Kosovo market in the coming months. Although drought has struck several countries in the region, forecast outputs are still expected to cover countries` domestic needs and leave some exportable surpluses within the region, albeit probably less than in a normal year.

Regarding sunflower oil, a clear downward trend is evident over the past twelve months, most likely reflecting reduced market demand in line with ample supplies through food aid distribution of oil throughout this period. The price of this commodity too, could be expected to rise somewhat as food aid is phased out.

In the context of the planned reductions in food aid and the reduced exportable supplies expected to be available in the region in general, continuing close monitoring of basic commodity prices in Kosovo will be necessary to give early warning of any unacceptable price increases which could adversely affect vulnerable groups' purchasing power.

3.6 Wheat supply/demand situation


Bread is a traditional staple food in Kosovo, 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 2000/2001 (July/June) is shown in Table 4 and is based on the following parameters.

Table 4. Kosovo Wheat Supply/Demand Balance for 2000/2001 (tonnes)

Domestic Availability
264 000
Opening stocks
33 000
of which Food aid
28 000
Production
231 000
Total Utilization
393 000
Food consumption
342 000
Seed
27 000
Losses
9 000
Closing stocks
15 000
Import Requirement
129 000
Estimated food aid imports still to be delivered to meet current food aid plan up to end-March 2001
15 000
Estimate of planned seed aid imports
7 000
Uncovered deficit
107 000

As seen in Table 4, total domestic availability of wheat in 2000/2001 is estimated at 264 000 tonnes, while total utilization needs amount to 393 000 tonnes. This leaves an import requirement of 129 000 tonnes. However, it is expected that about 15 000 tonnes of food aid wheat are still to be delivered to Kosovo to meet the needs of the current food aid plan up until the end of March 2001 (see section 4.4) and, approximately 7 000 tonnes of wheat seed is planned to be imported as aid for the autumn 2000 wheat planting. This leaves an uncovered wheat import deficit of 107 000 tonnes which will have to be met by commercial imports and/or further food aid donations beyond March 2001.

As mentioned above, in the 1990s (prior to the 1999 crisis), private trade contributed significantly towards meeting Kosovo's total food needs, including wheat requirements, although absolute volumes are difficult to ascertain. Private mills and traders flourished in the early 1990s to fill the gap left by the decline in the social sector milling industry, and were supplied predominantly from Vojvodina in Serbia (FRY). However, although at the time of last year's CFSAM (August 1999), private trade in food items had resumed remarkably quickly, trade in wheat and/or flour remained somewhat below pre-war levels throughout the past twelve months as a large proportion of the estimated food needs in 1999/2000 were met by food aid.

In fact, trade in wheat grain in particular was reported to be almost non-existent, as under UNMIK interim tax laws, customs and sales tax are applicable to wheat grain but not wheat flour, making the importation of wheat grain for milling in Kosovo uneconomic compared to the cost of imported flour, especially that which is reported to have been available through informal channels from Serbia (FRY).

However, the Mission found that, in anticipation of the 2000 wheat harvest in the Kosovo milling sector (private and social) and independent traders, are generally well prepared to meet the domestic shortfall in 2000/2001, over and above the food aid which is already planned, providing the demand exists. Significant private investment was noted in some mills, which had been badly damaged during the conflict, to make ready for the current season. Furthermore, the Mission received indications that negotiations were already under way (and maybe even contracts signed) to import wheat from other central and eastern European locations such as Bulgaria in particular. Thus, the capacity of the Kosovo millers/traders to satisfy domestic needs in the coming year is not expected to be a limiting factor on commercial imports of wheat. They seem well placed to respond to the eventual market demand.

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4. EMERGENCY FOOD ASSISTANCE

4.1 Achievements during July 1999-June 2000 Programme

Background

During July and August 1999, a total of 1.36 million people in Kosovo received food aid. Of these, WFP covered 900 000 with full ration under the regional EMOP 6136.00 blanket distribution scheme. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Mercy Corps International (MCI) funded a separate US Food For Peace pipeline, and distributed food to the remaining 460 000 persons.

After the initial blanket distribution to assist the majority of conflict-affected people, a targeted distribution scheme was elaborated based on a joint effort (see section 4.2 below) in assessing and targeting the most vulnerable categories within the population in Kosovo. Targeted distribution started in September 1999 for a total of 900 000 beneficiaries. WFP assisted 600 000 people while the remaining 300 000 received food aid from CRS/MCI schemes.

Under EMOP 6136.01, WFP continued to assist 600 000 beneficiaries up to March 2000. However, within this operation, a further scale-down of the total beneficiary number was planned. This reduction was based on regular re-assessment of the food security situation and the continuous monitoring of the distribution (see below).

Achievement of objectives

The objectives of the Food Aid intervention in Kosovo after the 1999 crisis were:

Against these objectives, the food aid intervention in Kosovo provided assistance to a large part of the population - in its peak period, almost 70 percent of the population was covered - throughout the past 12 months. The humanitarian operation ensured that the affected population could endure the winter and could also prepare for the first "after-crisis" agricultural season without the burden of the search for minimum daily subsistence food items.

As time evolved, the objectives of the food aid intervention changed progressively from the reduction of malnutrition and risk of hunger to income subsidy in preventing depletion of assets.

Although the constraints resulting from the conflict's destruction/losses seriously hampered the recovery in the second half of 1999, international assistance allowed a progressive reduction of the number of people unable to gain access to basic food and non-food items throughout spring 2000. Moreover, there has been a considerable recovery of the trade and private sector economic activities.

4.2 Assessments, Targeting and Monitoring

From the second phase in mid-September of the emergency intervention in Kosovo, WFP, in coordination with the implementing partners, established a selective targeting process. The latter is based on recognized criteria of vulnerability. The rationale was provided by the results of the food economy assessments which took place during the late summer and autumn 1999. The main reasons justifying and determining the large number of beneficiaries were:

These criteria have been applied to provide a framework/rationale of food aid assistance. It also helped determining the geographical differences and the overall numbers of vulnerable persons. The final caseload for the food aid assistance was determined by combining this information with the information gathered from the vulnerable groups registration. The local distribution partner had undertaken the latter at the grass-root level. The vulnerable groups were categorized as follows:

During the spring 2000, the overall situation in Kosovo progressively improved in the non-agricultural sectors. It suggested a re-targeting of the overall caseload of the food aid intervention. Based on the analysis of income opportunities and living conditions, the number of persons in critical need for emergency food aid assistance decreased, particularly in the urban areas.

In terms of recovery in the rural areas, most of the farmers who have received agricultural inputs as aid (or the ones who used their own resources), managed to restore (almost entirely) pre-crisis planted areas. Some exceptions remain in the heavily mined areas also in the areas where ethnic tensions still exist). During the 1999/2000 season the opportunities of casual labour increased. The average daily wage for the rural casual workers also increased compared to pre-crisis levels (25 to 30 DM observed during the Mission).

However, pending the final outcome of the 1999/2000 agricultural season, the overall number of people assisted through the spring in the rural areas still remained high.

Monitoring during the food aid operation

During the first two phases of the food aid distributions in the past year, intensive monitoring has been going on by all implementing partners and WFP. These efforts have allowed all agencies to reduce the ineffectiveness related to the large-scale nature of the intervention in Kosovo.

From the information gathered during the monitoring exercises, it has been possible to adjust distribution procedures and set up a community-based focus groups discussion scheme. These allowed implementing partners and distribution partners to open a dialogue on targeting and vulnerability. Through an intensive schedule of Focus Group discussions5, WFP and implementing partners managed to review and prepare the new phases of the food aid intervention. This preparation was conducted together with the communities, which allowed to reach an understanding and agreement from both sides on the necessary categories' reduction in real need of food aid assistance.

4.3 Phases of Food Aid interventions

The current Food Aid intervention in Kosovo has been structured in 4 phases, which are presented in the following table. This is the result of regular monitoring and updated assessments conducted by implementing partners and the WFP Food Economy Assessment teams. From these sources it has been possible to determine the factors influencing the food aid requirements reduction and the different periods during which the changes should occur.

1. July-August 1999
blanket feeding
- commercial supplies restarting
2. September 1999- March 2000
~900 000 beneficiaries 1/
targeted distribution to ~1/2 of families
- any family income required to buy wood, clothes, milk etc.
3. April-June 2000
~600 000 beneficiaries 1/
targeted distribution to ~1/3 of families
- seasonal increase in milk production (rural areas only)
- reduced household expenditures on winter items
- increased business activity
- increased employment
4. July 2000-March 2001
300 000 beneficiaries 1/ up to September 2000
and afterwards 240 000 1/ until end-March 2001
phase out of general distribution
- harvest
transition from food to cash-based social welfare system ensuring assistance to most vulnerable groups of the population
review of minorities caseload following evolution to access/marketing of their production


1
/ Total beneficiary numbers in Kosovo including both WFP beneficiaries number and CRS/MCI beneficiaries

At the time of the Mission, the phase-out of general distribution (phase 4) was beginning. It corresponded to the start of the wheat harvest, which implies that the new domestic production will soon be available, and there may be some possible market surpluses. Overall, the Food Aid assistance in Kosovo in the period July 1999 to May 2000 has provided over 190 000 tonnes of food commodities to an average number of 1 000 000 beneficiaries. Chart 2 shows the number of beneficiaries assisted, on a monthly basis.

Chart 2: Kosovo Food Aid Programme -Beneficiaries Assisted August 1999-May 2000

Undisplayed Graphic

The distribution channel for the food aid intervention has been ensured through the collaboration of WFP with the major International NGOs present in Kosovo as implementing partners and the main local organization, Mother Teresa Society (as distribution partner). The implementing partners covered different areas of responsibility. The local distribution partner provided staff in all branches throughout Kosovo for final distribution to beneficiaries.

As mentioned in section 4.2 above, the communities were involved in the regular meetings organized during the spring 2000 in order to sensitize the local population to the importance of selective assistance after the first emergency phase.

4.4 Food Aid Planning June 2000 - June 2001

Transition period July - September 2000

Confirming earlier forecasts, the current assessment shows that the harvest of wheat and other crops from July will be sufficient to ensure access for a large part of the rural population to the food commodities required for their own consumption over the next 12 months. The phase-down of food aid can continue as planned. From July to September, the caseload will be reduced progressively. It will allow agencies involved in the final distribution to sensitize communities on the transition from food aid to the Social Welfare scheme. This participatory approach is essential to ensure that the most vulnerable households are identified by the communities and consequently included in the future assistance programmes.

Period October 2000 - June 2001

Regional and socio-economic groups differences

The Mission's findings with regard to overall crop production and domestic food supplies for the 2000/2001 season suggest that no additional food aid imports are required over the next 12 months. However, having said this, it is essential that regional differences within Kosovo are considered for ground level monitoring in the coming months in order to identify areas (villages, communities and/or households) where increased food aid coverage may be required. The collaboration with implementing partners involved is essential in updating the information throughout the harvesting period and the beginning of autumn so that eventual ad hoc interventions could be planned to assist particularly affected areas/communities.

Areas identified by the Mission (where the impact of the April-May dry spell is most pronounced) are located in the central hills - Glogovac-Gllogoc, Srbica-Skenderaj and Malisheva-Malisheve municipalities. Most of these areas are naturally the driest and most deprived areas of Kosovo. Therefore, agriculture's contribution to the economy must be put in perspective with the overall economic sources available. It will be important for implementing partners involved in agricultural programmes to identify eventual vulnerability pockets particularly affected. Moreover, to determine to which extent the vulnerable groups are directly affected in terms of access to basic food. Again, due to the fact that the affected persons will be among the marginal groups, the food aid intervention in these areas should be channeled through long-term social assistance schemes rather than an emergency food aid support.

Current Food Aid Planning

Concerning the groups that will require food aid assistance in the last part of the year and in the spring 2001, the following should be included and/or closely monitored:

The following table summarizes the planned food aid intervention in Kosovo for the current transition period and the implementation phase of the Social Welfare programme.

Summary of Planned Caseload
Number of Beneficiaries
Centers for Social Welfare (Cat I)
100 000 - 140 000
Minorities
65 000 - 65 000
Contingency (conflict-affected, eventual vulnerable low-producing farms excluded from CSW)
40 000 - 80 000
TOTAL from September 2000 to March 2001
205 000 - 285 000

4.5 Social Welfare program

The establishment of a permanent, state-run social assistance scheme is being coordinated with the phase-down of humanitarian aid. The UNMIK Health and Social Welfare Department, WFP, UNHCR and international and local partners are collaborating to ensure this occurs smoothly. Food assistance for most vulnerable families will not be phased out until they begin receiving cash assistance under the Social Assistance Scheme.

In June-July 2000 the UNMIK-Section of Health and Social Welfare started the registration of vulnerable persons in the Centers for Social Welfare program. The criteria adopted by the social welfare program are meant to ensure that all persons unable to maintain a minimum level of subsistence receive assistance through the restored public social assistance system.

The implementation phase will start in September 2000 and will last until March 2001. The social assistance scheme (SAS) will cover two categories of families:

Cat I: Families without resources, where no one is working or expected to make themselves available for work.
Cat II: Families without resources where no one is working but who are physically and mentally able to work and who should make themselves available for work.

WFP, will, closely monitor special needs of minority communities. WFP is also prepared to extend its assistance to minorities to facilitate their integration into the social assistance scheme or the socio-economic systems.

Beginning in June, applications were accepted from families in Category I6. Beginning in August 2000 they will receive a cash payment through the SAS. These families will also receive food rations as part of their SAS benefit through March 2001. At that time, the current plans expect food aid intervention in Kosovo to be completed. The monthly food aid component of the programme from September 2000 to March 2001, will give support to the totality of persons who applied and were accepted in the SAS. The food aid component will consist of a full ration based on the one used during the emergency phase, which consists of 12 kg of wheat flour, 1 kg of vegetable oil and 1 kg of beans.

Category II families criteria will be applied starting at the beginning of Autumn 2000. By that time, rural families will have completed the harvest. This will be taken into account in determining eligibility to receive assistance. Families judged eligible under category II would receive only the cash payment.

Mechanisms are being developed to ensure that families in all minority groups have access to the Social Assistance Scheme. Provision of food aid by WFP is being coordinated with these efforts, to ensure that no vulnerable families are left without assistance as the scheme is being established.

4.6 Rationale for Food Aid in the current socio-economic context

Based on the current agricultural production assessment and the recent socio-economic assessments, the following highlights place the food aid intervention in context for the next 12 months.

Recovery of the agricultural sector

As described earlier in the report, the agricultural sector has witnessed a significant recovery from the war-devastated state in 1999. A sharp increase in crop production and significant livestock re-stocking will directly influence the capacity of the rural households to cover their own-consumption requirements. The food aid intervention during the past 12 months allowed affected rural populations to cope with the losses of stocks and assets, the lack of resources during winter and spring, and the heavy workload required to restart the agricultural activities in areas affected by the conflict.

Following the improved access to domestically produced foods while reflecting the necessity to provide incentives for the restoration of `normal' market mechanisms in the private sector, food aid assistance to the rural populations should be minimized in the coming months. The wheat market should stabilize in the coming months. Albeit at likely prices for flour significantly above those of the past 12 months, as domestic surpluses are traded and private millers/traders increase activity to meet the domestic shortfall. Only in the case of evident distortions after the readjustment phase - expressed by a steep increase in wheat prices and/or observed scarcity in markets - would it be necessary to review the intervention.

Comparative advantage of cash towards food in-kind contribution to vulnerable groups

The comparative advantage of food aid towards cash distribution is a complex - often controversial - issue. It is closely linked, among other factors, to two broad aspects, the nature of the aid intervention and the socio-economic context in the area of intervention.

As mentioned before, the nature of the intervention in Kosovo in 2000 became soon a support to the maintenance of acceptable levels of subsistence rather than an intervention to prevent hunger.

Due to this clear shift in the objectives of the assistance, the threshold helped in fixing the limit for intervention. Where food aid is comparatively a better option than cash assistance, it is obviously flexible and subject to availability of clear indicators to measure vis-à-vis the threshold. However it is essential that food aid does not become a general income support beyond the minimum levels of subsistence due to the dependency and interference phenomena related to the food component of aid.

Considering the current domestic crop and food supply prospects for 2000/2001, the internal supply will restore a relatively high coverage of the own-consumption requirements. Consequently, determine an increase in the demand for other basic food and non-food items to be provided through the commercial sector's channels. In this context, the injection of additional basic food items as free aid is not necessarily the most appropriate option available to restart the normal economic mechanisms and give incentives to the private sector.

Recovery of the non-agricultural sectors / Urban recovery / Employment from the reconstruction sector and UNMIK Administration

Trade has played a central role in the recovery in urban and rural areas of Kosovo. Commodities are available throughout Kosovo in shops and markets both in Albanian centers and, in a minor degree, in enclaves.

As mentioned in the Urban Food Economy Assessment7, the already recovering economy is expecting to benefit from further changes since spring 2000. Increased trade activities, casual labour opportunities created by reconstruction programmes, the restoration of the UNMIK Administration salary payment - estimate at 70 000 persons - will all contribute to the increase of the overall levels of activity and consequent cash/income circulation in the Kosovo economy.

The minorities' situation one year after the war

The minority groups are still exposed to high uncertainty and vulnerability due to the difficult access to external markets and employment. The insecurity situation around the enclave zones and the difficulty in forecasting the socio-economic evolution of these groups suggest that the current planning figures have to be maintained throughout the next season.

Influx form neighbouring southeastern regions

A contingency plan has been elaborated by UNHCR/WFP in order to be prepared for an eventual massive repatriation of the Albanian Kosovars residing in the Southern Serbian regions of Presevo. In case of serious deterioration of the situation, the 70 000 people living outside the south-eastern part of Kosovo could move back to Kosovo.Their food aid requirements are difficult to predict considering that most of the two communities living around the border held or have had regular commercial exchanges throughout the year.

4.7 Logistics

The overall structure of the Logistics in the Balkans was set up in July 1999. It allowed to respond adequately to the need of the Kosovo operation.

Throughout the first quarter of 2000, WFP dispatched food from the ports of Thessaloniki, Durres and Bar and by road from Northern Europe. Food was transported from the ports to the warehouses in the region by trucks and, in the case of Kosovo, by trucks (40 percent) and trains (60 percent). The dedicated fleets of WFP trucks in FYRoM were used to deliver food from Thessaloniki to Kosovo. WFP's forty 5-tons trucks augmented short-haul transfers of food between WFP warehouses, ensuring no delays in distribution schedules at warehouse level.

Paralleling the phase-down of food aid to Kosovo, warehousing for the Ferizaj and Gnjilan areas of responsibility was concentrated in Ferizaj and the Gnjilan Extensive Delivery Point (EDP) was closed down.

During the second quarter of 2000, the focus continued to be on planning and implementing phase-down of logistics operations to match the reduced beneficiary caseload. However, WFP will remain prepared to rapidly respond to emergencies by retaining contingency stocks of food and non-food items.

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 The 1999 CFSAM estimate was revised by the January 2000 FAO Crop Assessment Mission.

2 With combine-harvester hire charges expected to be 150 DM per hectare; real seed costs at 0.5 DM per kg for 300 kg per hectare (150 DM); real fertilizer costs at 250 DM per hectare; trade/mill wheat prices at 0.25 kg would suggest that farmers need a yield of 3.2 tonnes per hectare to break even.

3 Ploughing 150 DM; harrowing 100 DM; planting 80 DM; weeding 500 (2 times with 10 people @ 25 DM per day); harvesting labour 200 DM; seeds 12 DM; fertilizer 100 DM.

4 Cow equivalents: 350 kg cow = 1; <yearling = 0.5; ewe = 0.2; lamb = 0.1.

5 See "Monitoring Task Force III : Focus Group/Community Meetings Report", February 2000, WFP.

6 Category I of CSW corresponds to Categories III (disables) and IV.1 (single parent household) in the food aid scheme.

7 Kosovo Food Economy Assessment : The Urban Case, February/March 2000, WFP- Food Economy Group.