FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages No.5, November 2001


CAMEROON (6 November)

Rains ceased in early October in the north. Precipitation was adequate in mid-October in the centre and south but was well below average in the centre in late October. Coarse grains have been harvested in the north and a good output is anticipated. The maize crop is developing satisfactorily in the south.

The overall food supply situation is satisfactory Cereal imports during the 2001 marketing year are estimated at 300 000 tonnes, mostly wheat and rice.


Precipitation remained generally widespread and regular up to mid-October. In late October, rains ceased in the north but remained above normal in the south.

The food supply situation remains satisfactory. However, civil disturbances in the capital, Bangui, in early November may have affected marketing activities. The cereal import requirement for the 2001 marketing year is estimated at 33 000 tonnes, mainly wheat.


Civil strife intensified in eastern parts during the past month. Planting of the 2002 A season crops is underway in the Kivu region but insecurity is hindering farming activities. Serious insecurity incidents have been reported in the Plains of Ruzizi and Uvira in South Kivu province. Systematic looting by armed groups is reported in Kalonge, while movements of troops to Bunyakiri, Hombo and Nyabibwe have resulted in new population displacements. Insecurity is also hampering distribution of humanitarian assistance.

Elsewhere in the country, insecurity has also hindered distribution of food assistance in the southeastern province of Katanga, where the food supply situation is reported to be extremely serious. WFP is currently airlifting food to the districts of Nyunzu, Manono, Kabalo, Kongolo, Kiambi and Mulongo. There is particular concern for the food situation in Kiambi, where WFP reports malnutrition rates among the highest in DRC at 32 percent, and mortality rates among children under five years are also very high. While food aid in the pipeline is adequate for emergency operations, additional assistance is needed for funding transport of humanitarian workers to the worst affected areas.

The food situation in large cities in the west is also critical, particularly in Kinshasa and surrounding areas. In general, all the economic activities of the country have been affected by the conflict and it is estimated that more than one-third of the population, or 16 million people, have critical food needs. A recent study by the Ministry of Agriculture indicates that as a result of the political and economic crisis, agricultural production in the country has declined by 2.8 percent annually in the last four years, with production of maize decreasing 13 percent. On average, the caloric deficit of the population is estimated at 20.3 percent.

CONGO, REP OF* (6 November)

he overall food supply situation has improved. All areas are now accessible to humanitarian agencies. Most persons displaced by the civil war have returned to their homes. There are about 100 000 refugees from the Equator Province of DRC in northern areas, notably in Betou, near the border with the Central African Republic. There are also refugees from Angola, Burundi and Rwanda. A WFP relief and recovery operation is underway for population groups affected by the conflict and will provide 134 000 tonnes of food products over the period 2001/02. Food assistance is also provided to some 120 000 persons in Brazzaville, Pointe Noire and other main towns.


Following below-normal rains in September and early October, rains increased in mid-October and became abundant in late October. The staple crops are sweet potatoes, cassava and plantains. The cereal import requirement for the 2001 marketing year is estimated at 10 000 tonnes of rice and wheat.

GABON (6 November)

The main food crops are cassava and plantains but some maize is also produced (around 32 000 tonnes). The country imports commercially the bulk of its cereal requirement, estimated at around 87 000 tonnes in 2001.

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