FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 06/01 - BURUNDI* (5 June)
BURUNDI* (5 June)
The output of the 2001 A season crops is estimated to be satisfactory. A locally organized FAO/WFP/UNICEF assessment estimated food production at 85 000 tonnes of cereals, 68 000 tonnes of pulses, 483 000 tonnes of roots and tubers and 465 000 tonnes of bananas and plantains, which is 15 percent, 10 percent, 4 percent and 1 percent respectively higher than in the 2000 A season. However, outputs remain below the pre- crisis (1988-1993) average levels, due to insecurity and disruption of agricultural production since 1994. The area planted increased significantly this season reflecting a relatively better security situation in western parts, particularly in the provinces of Bubanza and Cibitoke, and the closure of regroupment camps in Bujumbura Rural Province, which allowed farmers to return to their fields. Another factor which contributed to higher plantings this season was the timely seed distributions by the Government and international agencies, mainly in the Kirundo and Muyinga provinces, the worst affected by drought during the 2000 A season.
Despite a late start of the rainy season, precipitation was abundant and well distributed from October to November, benefiting crop development. However, excessive rains in parts resulted in floods and crop losses and, in general, reduced yields, particularly for beans. Yields of bananas and plantains are expected to increase only from March/April as trees were seriously affected by previous prolonged dry weather. The small 2000 C season in the marshlands, from mid- June to September, was poor due to dry weather in previous months. The food output was estimated 4 percent below the level of the 1999 C season.
The tight food situation has eased with the arrival of the new harvest. Nevertheless, following several consecutive below average harvests, persistent insecurity and population displacements, as well as a recent malaria epidemic, the food and nutrition situation of vulnerable groups remains precarious. In particular, the situation is difficult for 324 000 internally displaced people and for drought affected persons in the provinces of Karuzi, Gitega, Kayanza and Muyinga. A recent nutrition survey in 7 provinces of the country indicated a 10 percent rate of acute global malnutrition. Similarly, a recent report by MSF indicated that the number of malnourished children admitted to its therapeutic feeding centres in Karuzi province had doubled in January 2001. Emergency food aid continues to be necessary for the vulnerable sections of the population.