Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture Foodcrops and shortages
Global Information and Early Warning System on food and agriculture
June 2001


AFRICA: In eastern Africa, food supply prospects have improved with favourable rains over most of the region and good secondary season harvests in parts. However, food supply difficulties caused by recent drought or civil strife persist in parts. In Southern Africa, cereal production is sharply down from last year, mainly due to dry weather and reduced plantings. In the Sahel, the rainy season has just started and planting is in progress. Agricultural activities continue to be hampered by civil strife in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

ASIA: Several countries have been hit by adverse weather, posing a serious threat to their food security. In Afghanistan, the third consecutive year of drought has intensified the severe food crisis, pushing millions into destitution. DPR Korea is experiencing a serious drought just after the coldest winter in decades, while Mongolia is recovering from two consecutive extremely harsh winters that killed millions of livestock. Parts of China, India and Pakistan are also experiencing drought. In the CIS countries affected by drought in 2000 some 4 million people continue to need food assistance to survive.

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN: In Central America and the Caribbean, some 800 000 people affected by past hurricanes and earthquakes are receiving international food assistance. In the Caribbean, the start of the rainy season in Cuba and Haiti has provided some relief from last year's drought. In South America, Bolivia and Peru suffered localized floods at the beginning of this year, but the current weather situation is favourable. A record 2001 maize crop in Brazil has transformed the country from a net importer to a net exporter of maize.

EUROPE: The 2001 cereal area in the EC has declined and production will be down from last year's bumper level. Soil moisture conditions have generally improved in central and eastern European countries and better crops than last year are expected. In the CIS countries, early indications point to an increase in cereal production in 2001 in response to generally favourable weather conditions. Food assistance continues to be necessary for vulnerable populations in the Balkans, especially in the Federal republic of Yugoslavia, Chechnya and surrounding areas.

NORTH AMERICA: Wheat output is expected to fall sharply in the United States in 2001 as area is down and lower yields are forecast. Aggregate output is now officially forecast to be 12 percent down from the previous year. Paddy production is expected to fall marginally from last year. Coarse grain area and production are also expected to fall. Wheat output in Canada is also expected to fall although coarse grain production could rise.

OCEANIA: In Australia, recent widespread rains have greatly improved prospects for the winter grain crops after a prolonged dry spell during the main planting period. The recently completed rice harvest has yielded a record crop. In Papua New Guinea, two earthquakes in June damaged property and infrastructure, leaving many people homeless. In the Solomon Islands, the food situation remains tight, particularly for the internally displaced persons and the returnees.

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