Abundant rains in February and March, particularly in southern parts previously affected by a severe dry spell, have improved prospects for the 2001 foodcrops. Good yields of cassava, the main is staple in northern areas, are expected. However, the rains may have arrived too late to prevent yield reductions of maize and bean crops. The total area planted is expected to have been reduced by the intensification of the civil conflict at sowing time, which could result in another below-average harvest. An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission is scheduled to visit the country in early May to evaluate the 2001 foodcrops and estimate import requirements for marketing year 2001/02 (April/March), including food aid.
The food supply situation continues to deteriorate with the persistent civil conflict. The security situation in the interior of the country remains unstable with violent incidents reported in various parts. The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs), estimated at 2.5 million people last June, has continued to increase. Fresh waves of population displacement have been reported in Benguela in the west, Huila and Kuando Kubango in the south, Malange in the north and Moxico in the east. The food situation of the IDPs is extremely critical, but food aid distribution continues to be hampered by insecurity and shortfalls in food aid pledges. By mid-March WFP had received pledges for only 60 percent of its current operation in Angola. This has led to a onethird reduction in the number of beneficiaries, from 1.5 million to 1 million and to cuts in the rations. Additional pledges are urgently needed.
Abundant rains in the third dekad of February arrived too late to prevent yield reduction in maize and sorghum crops stressed by dry weather since January. The output is anticipated to decline, or remain around the poor level of last year.
Following two consecutive reduced cereal harvests, the country has an import requirement of 250 000 tonnes of cereals in marketing year 2000/01 (April/March), all of which is expected to be imported commercially.
Prospects for the 2001 coarse grain crops are poor. Good rains in the second dekad of February arrived too late for the recovery of crops, stressed by a dry spell since January. Dry weather resumed in late February and March, further worsening crop conditions. The output is anticipated to decline from the below average level of last year.
Following a reduced 2000 cereal crop, the import requirement in marketing year 2000/01 (April/March) is estimated at 248 000 tonnes, most of which is expected to be covered commercially.
Below-average rains in northern and central parts during February and first dekad of March, which followed abundant rains in previous months, affected growing conditions for the 2001 rice crop. The overall prospects for the paddy harvest, starting from April, are uncertain; yield reductions are anticipated in parts. By contrast, in the southern maize growing areas abundant precipitation since the second dekad of February improved prospects for the maize crop which had been affected by dry weather. However, the rains may have arrived too late to prevent yield reductions and the harvest could be reduced for the second consecutive year. Last year, the southern areas were affected by a severe drought that caused a onequarter decline in the maize output.
The overall food supply situation is tight following the poor 2000 rice crop. In southern parts, food assistance is required for 240 000 vulnerable people who obtained a poor harvest last season.
Continuous heavy rains in February and March resulted in serious floods in 13 of the country's 27 districts, particularly in southern areas along the Shire River. Official reports indicate that 200 000 people are displaced due to the floods and 346 000 have been affected in varying degrees. It is estimated that 50 000 hectares of crops have been lost to the floods. The Government has appealed for international assistance to cope with the disaster. WFP plans to distribute emergency food aid to 275 000 people. However, persistent rains are hampering distributions. Many areas are inaccessible as a result of damage to roads and bridges.
Prospects for the 2001 cereal crops have deteriorated with the excessive rains of the past months that are likely to have reduced yields. A dry spell and high temperatures in January in some southern districts, mainly Balaka, Zomba and Mwanza, also negatively affected yields in these areas. Latest forecast point to a maize crop of 2.15 million tonnes, 14 percent below the bumper harvest of last year, but still above average.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory reflecting last year's good harvest and adequate stocks. Also at household level the food security situation is reported to be generally satisfactory.
High water levels in the Zambezi and other rivers, due to torrential rains in neighbouring countries, as well as continuing heavy rains in central provinces since the last dekad of January, have resulted in floods in the central provinces of Zambezia, Sofala, Manica and Tete. About 200 000 people are displaced and up to 563 000 are affected by the disaster. Severe damage to transport infrastructure is also reported. Preliminary assessments of the agricultural damage carried out by the Government indicate that 42 000 hectares of cash crops and foodcrops have been lost to the floods, affecting 55 000 farming families. Last year, 48 000 hectares of foodcrops were lost to floods in these central provinces, while the area lost at national level reached 167 000 hectares, mainly in southern provinces.
More floods are threatening central parts as the level of the Chaora Bassa dam, the country's largest along the Zambezi River, is rising and it is likely that floodgates will be opened. There is also concern over more floods due to the still high levels of the Pungue and Zambezi rivers. The Government has appealed for US$30 million to cope with the emergency in central areas. Emergency food assistance is currently being provided to 180 000 affected people. However, distributions are hampered by the destruction of several bridges and roads. Agricultural tools and seeds required to allow affected farmers to plant a second season crop are valued at US$2.3 million.
In southern provinces, the worst affected by the severe floods of last year, the outlook for this year's cereal harvest has deteriorated as a result of well below average precipitation in January. Rains resumed from the second dekad of February, but arrived too late to prevent serious yield reductions. In the main cereal growing areas of the north, good rains since the beginning of the season have favoured crop development.
Despite serious localized damage caused by the floods, the overall outlook for this year's cereal crop is still satisfactory, as the crop losses to floods are not significant at national level. Early forecast point to a maize crop around or higher than last year's good level, reflecting also increased plantings.
The food supply situation remains satisfactory at national level. Maize prices are below their level of a year ago. Nevertheless, a total of 165 000 food insecure people in 37 districts are estimated to be in need of food assistance until the next harvest.
The outlook for this year's cereal crop is poor as a result of severe dry weather during January and early February in the northern growing areas. The dry weather followed late and erratic rains since the beginning of the season. Abundant precipitation from the second dekad of February arrived late to prevent serious yield reductions of the maize and sorghum crops. The 2001 maize production is forecast to decline 35 percent from the good level of last year.
The food supply situation remains satisfactory as a result of the good cereal harvest of last season and the country's commercial import capacity.
Prospects for the 2001 maize crop are unfavourable. Well below-average rains and high temperatures in January and early February, particularly in western growing areas, stressed developing crops. Rains in mid-February provided relief to the affected areas but arrived too late to prevent yield reductions. Dry weather resumed in late February and March, worsening growing conditions. Preliminary forecasts point to a maize output of 7.2 million tonnes, 34 percent below last year's good level. This reflects the insufficient precipitation but also a decrease of 17 percent in the area sown, due to low domestic prices at planting time.
Production estimates of the 2000 wheat crop have been revised upwards to 2.1 million tonnes, one-third above the poor harvest of the previous year and above average.
Prospects for the 2001 cereal crop are poor. Prolonged dry weather during most of January and early February stressed the developing maize crop. Abundant rains in the second dekad of February were too late to prevent reductions in yields. Dry weather resumed from late February worsening growing conditions. Early forecast point to maize output around the well below average level of last year.
The overall food supply situation is tight reflecting the flood-reduced cereal harvest of last year and inadequate commercial imports so far. Serious food difficulties are particularly being experienced by 14 000 people who lost crops last season and need of food assistance until the next harvest. The Government has appealed for international assistance to meet their needs.
Heavy rains in February and March over most parts of the country, except in the extreme south, resulted in localized floods along the Zambezi and Luangwa rivers. Localized floods affected areas in Western, Luapula, Northern and Central Provinces. Other affected areas are the Luangwa Valley (including areas in the districts of Serenje, Mpika, Mambwe, Lundazi, Katete, Chipata, Nyimba and Luangwa). By contrast, prolonged dry weather in Southern (Livingstone and the Gwembe Valley) and Western (Sesheke, Shangombo and Senanga) Provinces is anticipated to result in sharply reduced yields in these areas.
Overall, prospects for the 2001 maize crop have deteriorated with the widespread excessive rains. Production is forecast to decline from last year's bumper crop, reflecting also decline in the area planted because of low prices at planting time and large carryover stocks from the previous season. Imports of maize will be necessary in 2001/02 (May/April).
Widespread above-average rains in February and early March resulted in flooding in several parts. Severe damage to transport infrastructure, housing and crops is reported. Worst affected are the north eastern Mashonaland Central province, in particular Muzarabani in the Centernary District, where 15 000 people have lost their homes, and, in general, areas around the Zambezi river system. Foodcrops lost to the floods are reported to be significant in these parts but a detailed assessment of the extent of the agricultural damage is still underway. Overall, it is estimated that 30 000 people have been affected by the floods. The Government has launched an appeal for US$2.34 million in emergency assistance and is currently airlifting food and non-food items to inaccessible area.
Prospects for the current foodcrops are unfavourable. Severe dry weather in January, followed by excessive rains negatively affected yields of the 2001 maize and other foodcrops. In the worst affected southern areas, below average precipitation since midNovember resulted in significant reductions in plantings and yields, with plantings in most districts estimated to be less than 50 percent of normal levels and a poor harvest anticipated. Provisional forecasts indicate an aggregate maize harvest as low as 1.2 million tonnes, 41 percent below last year's level. This reflects the adverse weather but also a sharp reduction in the area planted as a result of the current programme to resettle largescale commercial farms and shortages of fuel. At the current production forecast and projected carryover stocks, the import requirement in marketing year 2001/02 would increase sharply at a time the country faces a severe foreign exchange shortage.
Currently, the overall food supply
satisfactory, reflecting the good maize crop of last
and large carryover stocks. However,
food situation is
difficult for poor urban households
those in communal areas that
rely on purchased maize. Prices of
maize and other staple foods have increased sharply in recent months due to high levels of
inflation, fuel shortages and continued depreciation
of the national currency. An FAO/WFP Crop
and Food Supply Assessment Mission will visit the country in late April to
evaluate the 2001 food production and import
requirements in 2001/02 marketing year (April/March).
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