FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 11/01 - LESOTHO (5 November)

LESOTHO (5 November)

Above-average rains in the second and third dekads of October improved soil moisture for planting of the 2002 maize and sorghum crops, currently underway. The early outlook is promising. The 2001 cereal harvest was poor due to unfavourable weather conditions. The output was estimated by an FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission at 80 000 tonnes, 47 percent lower than in the previous year and 60 percent below the average of the past five years. The cereal import requirement has increased sharply to 332 000 tonnes of cereals, mostly maize. While most of this requirement is expected to be covered on commercial basis, assistance is needed in the worst affected districts of Mokhotlong, Thaba- Tseka, Mohale’s Hoek and Quthing, where farmers lost their crops and a significant number do not have adequate means to access food.