BURUNDI* (11 September)
The output of the 2001 B season was good. An FAO/WFP/UNICEF Mission at local level, estimated the production at 175 000 tonnes of cereals, 187 000 tonnes of pulses, 864 000 tonnes of roots and tubers and 681 000 tonnes of bananas and plantains. This is 10 percent, 24 percent, 14 percent and 4 percent higher than in the 2000 B season respectively. In aggregate, foodcrops production was 10 percent above the previous year’s level.
Despite insecurity in parts, including districts bordering Tanzania, southern districts of Gitega province, the Mwaro and Muramvya provinces, areas bordering the Kibira forest and the commune of Mutimbuzi in the Bujumbura rurale area, the security situation was generally stable in the rest of the country and agricultural activities were undertaken normally. Seed distribution was timely with the support of the international community. Rains during the season were abundant and regular and lasted until June, benefiting the maturation of late planted crops. These factors resulted in higher plantings and yields in the 2001 B season.
The output of the 2001 first crop season was also satisfactory and current forecast points to a good 2001 third season. As a consequence, the food supply situation is expected to improve in the second half of the year. The nutritional situation has also improved with a decline in the number of beneficiaries in the nutritional centres. Despite this overall improvement, the food situation of about 580 000 internally displaced people and of other vulnerable groups give cause for concern. Food aid continues to be distributed to a total of 596 299 vulnerable people. Food assistance will still be required for the remainder of the year.
ERITREA* (10 September)
Harvesting of the 2001 cereal and pulse crops will start in the coming few weeks. Cumulative main season rains from June have been normal to above normal in main cereal growing areas. Output from the current agricultural season is anticipated to be better than last year’s well-below-average crop. However, with a large proportion of the war displaced farming population still unable to return and large tracts of land being inaccessible due to landmines, optimal use of current favourable rains was not possible. Since April 2001, about 170 000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have returned to their original homes in Debub and Gash-Barka regions while about 70 000 still remain in camps.
The food situation remains tight as a result of the war with Ethiopia and last year’s drought. The 2000 cereal crop was sharply reduced due mainly to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of farmers from the agriculturally rich regions of Gash Barka and Debub, which account for more than 70 percent of cereal production.
Two Emergency Operations were jointly approved in April and May 2001 by FAO and WFP for food assistance to about 1.8 million people affected by war and drought, worth a total sum of US$77 million for a period of 10 months (May 2001 to February 2002). The slow response to the Government’s appeal in February 2001 is a major concern with only a small fraction of the appeal of about US$224 million to assist nearly 2 million people for a period of twelve months received so far.
ETHIOPIA* (10 September)
Prospects for the 2001 main “meher” season cereal crop, to be harvested from late October, are favourable. Abundant rains in July and August benefited developing crops in major producing regions. However, heavy rains and floods in parts have caused loss of life and localized damage to crops.
Latest official reports on the 2001 secondary Sbelg” season foodcrops, harvested from June, indicate a good crop and a substantial recovery from last year’s poor crop. However, an army-worm outbreak earlier in the season in eastern parts of the country and bird infestations in the south may have caused some localized damage. The “belg” crop accounts for some 7 to 10 percent of the aggregate cereal production of the country, but it is important in several areas, where it provides the bulk of the annual food supplies.
By contrast, in the pastoral areas of southern and eastern Ethiopia, the current main season rainfall was late by about a month and ended early. Poor rainfall in parts of Gode, Liban, Werder and Afder Zones, sites of last year’s severe food shortages, is particularly worrying. Recent nutritional surveys have shown high levels of global acute malnutrition, indicating continuing food shortages.
The overall food supply situation in the country is stable as a result of last year’s bumper “meher” cereal and pulse crop. However, the sharp decline in grain prices in main producing areas has severely affected household income in rural areas. The Government and donors have made some attempts to support local markets through purchases of grain. The number of people in need of food assistance is expected to decline from the earlier estimate of some 6.5 million people affected by a severe drought in the last two years and the war with neighbouring Eritrea.
An Emergency Operation (EMOP) worth about US$90 million was jointly approved by FAO and WFP in March 2001 for relief food assistance to 2.5 million small-scale farmers and drought-affected pastoralists, for a period of 10 months (April 2001 to January 2002). A revised EMOP was also jointly approved in April 2001 for 323 000 internally displaced people due to the war, worth a total of about US$55 million until end of July 2001.
KENYA (10 September)
Good rains in major growing areas in July and August benefited developing cereal crops of the 2001 main “long rains” season. The maize crop in the Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza Provinces is reported to be in good condition. Preliminary official forecasts indicate a maize output of 2.3 million tonnes, an increase of about 20 percent over the reduced harvest last year. Assuming normal “short rains” production early next year, the 2001/02 aggregate maize output is expected to be about 2.8 million tonnes. With substantial stocks, estimated at 180 000 tonnes, at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) together with private stocks and cross-border trade, total supply is anticipated to cover consumption needs.
In response to expected good harvest and adequate stock levels, prices of maize, the staple crop, have declined considerably and are likely to decline even further. The Government has recently appealed to donors to increase local purchases to support the market.
The overall food supply situation has improved considerably in most of the country. However, pastoralists in eastern and north eastern parts continue to face serious food supply difficulties that are expected to persist until at least the short rains season harvest from December. The severe drought in 1999/2000 seriously undermined the food security of 4.4 million people, particularly in pastoral areas, and resulted in a massive relief operation. Notable improvement in rates of child malnutrition were reported indicating the impact of emergency interventions.
An Emergency Operation (EMOP) was jointly approved in August 2001 by FAO and WFP for food assistance to 3.16 million drought affected people. However, delays in shipments have been reported since January 2001.
RWANDA* (10 September)
A locally-organized joint Government/FAO/WFP/EU- PASAR/FSRP/FEWS-NET mission has estimated food production in the 2001 B season at 2.7 million tonnes. Although at this level output is 10 percent less than in the same season last year, in cereal-equivalent the output is 9 percent higher. This reflects very favourable production of cereals, mostly sorghum the main cereal crop of the B season. In particular, areas affected by recurring drought in the past (Bugesera, Mayaga, Kibungo, and Umutara) obtained a good harvest this season.
The satisfactory production is the result of an increase of 7.5 percent in the area planted and normal and well distributed rains during the season. However, excessive precipitation in northern and eastern parts affected pulse crops. In the north-west provinces of Giseny and Ruhengeri and in Kibuye province, food production was better this season, reflecting an improved security situation. Prices of sorghum, sweet potatoes, cassava, maize and cooking bananas by the end of July were at the same level than in the previous year and declining.
Import requirements in the second half of the year have decreased, compared to the same period last year, to 143 000 tonnes of cereal-equivalent, which is expected to be fully covered by commercial imports. However, vulnerable households may need some food assistance.
SOMALIA* (10 September)
Harvesting of the 2001 main season (“Gu”) cereal crops is nearing completion. Erratic and below-normal rains in the main growing areas in the south have affected crops. Preliminary forecasts point to a sorghum output of about onethird of the previous year’s “Gu” production and less than half of the post-war average. Most affected regions include rainfed areas of Gedo, Hiran, Bay and Bakool. However, a good maize harvest is anticipated in the irrigated areas of Juba and Shabelle river valleys. Crop harvest data are expected soon, when results from an appraisal by the Food Security Assessment Unit (FSAU) in August are made available.
Overall, severe food difficulties are emerging reflecting a poor “Gu” season, slow household recovery from the earlier succession of droughts, and long-term effects of years of insecurity. Moreover, further injections of new currency into the market with the attendant depreciation of the Somali Shilling have caused a sharp increase in prices of food items, eroding the purchasing power of large sections of the population.
In northern Somalia, severe water shortages and deteriorating pasture conditions, due to poor rains, have resulted in unusual and early migration of people and livestock. Poor rains in the neighbouring region of Ethiopia have compounded the problem by increasing competition for limited pasture. The ban of livestock imports from eastern Africa by countries along the Arabian Peninsula due to Rift Valley fever continues to cause substantial loss of income and has affected the livelihoods of a large number of pastoral households.
In response to anticipated poor harvests, dwindling stocks and inadequate relief food in the pipeline, WFP and other humanitarian agencies have appealed to the international community for additional food assistance. Earlier in the year a UN inter-agency appeal was launched for US $130 million, to support livelihoods and assist the country’s recovery.
SUDAN* (10 September)
In the wake of two consecutive years of serious drought, extensive floods in parts of northern and southern Sudan have displaced tens of thousands of people, destroyed crops and aggravated the already precarious food supply situation in the affected areas. Heavy rains in the Blue Nile catchment areas in Ethiopian highlands caused an overflow of the Nile river and submerged many villages and settlements. Despite reports of a respite, water levels in the Nile surpassed those of 1988, when the river burst its banks causing massive destruction. Worst affected areas are northern and eastern parts along the Nile, including areas around the capital city Khartoum. Parts of southern and western Sudan have also suffered from torrential rains and floods. Large numbers of people have been evacuated. Access to the affected population was made difficult by damage to main roads and bridges.
The humanitarian situation in the affected areas is reported to be critical and there is an urgent need for international assistance to rescue the stranded people and to provide them with food, drinking water, medicines and other assistance. As several areas are inaccessible, airlift operations are needed to reach the isolated population. A full assessment of crop losses and agricultural damage is not yet available, but preliminary indications point to significant crop and livestock losses.
Overall prospects for the 2001 main season cereal crop, normally harvested from October, were already poor before the damage caused by floods. A late start of the rainy season in parts and population displacement due to an escalation of conflict in southern Sudan resulted in a decline in plantings and potential yields. The losses and yield reductions caused by the floods are likely to worsen the already unfavourable harvest outlook.
FAO and WFP will jointly field a mission to the country in October/November 2001, to assess the outcome of this year’s harvest and the food supply outlook for 2001/02 (November/October) including an estimation of the country's food import requirements and food aid needs of the affected population.
TANZANIA (10 September)
Harvesting of the 2001 main season cereal crops is complete. A national crop and food supply survey planned for JulyAugust did not take place, but preliminary reports from field offices indicate above-average production as a result of favourable rains. Growing conditions have been generally good, with normal to above-normal cumulative rainfall in most parts of the country. In bi-modal rainfall areas of the north and north-east, despite a late start, good rains since April benefited the crops of the “Masika” season. Pastures and livestock are reported in good condition reflecting generally abundant rains.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory. The harvests in the bimodal rainfall areas and on-going harvests in unimodal rainfall regions are increasing on-farm stocks and food access due to low prices. The food situation of pastoralists has also improved due to increased water supplies and pastures.
UGANDA (10 September)
Harvesting of the 2001 main season cereal crop is almost complete and the outlook is favourable following normal rains. The first rainy season was fully established by midMarch in most southern parts providing adequate moisture for growing crops. In north-eastern and eastern districts, affected by successive poor harvests and insecurity, abundant rains benefited crops and pasture. Improved security conditions in Bundibugyo, Kasese and Kabarole Districts in the west and Gulu and Kitgum in the north enabled an increase in planted area.
Overall, the food supply situation is adequate. Prices of beans and maize remain stable. However, food difficulties are reported in parts of Katakwi District where almost one-third of the population is internally displaced due to insecurity. The displaced population in Bundibugyo, Gulu and Kitgum Districts are reported to have adequate own production and assistance through WFP feeding programmes.