FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 04/02 - ZAMBIA (20 April)

ZAMBIA (20 April)

Prospects for the 2002 cereal harvest, mainly maize, have further deteriorated with dry weather in March in the southern half of the country. Rains in previous months in these areas were also below average and yields are anticipated to be low. By contrast, normal to above-normal precipitation in March in northern parts benefited maturing cereal crops. Rains in these areas have been adequate since the beginning of the growing season and crops are reported in good condition. Overall, the output is expected to be reduced for the second consecutive year.

Food shortages are reported from several locations as a result of last year’s poor maize harvest and delayed imports. Prices of food have increased sharply since last July. WFP is currently distributing emergency food aid to 1.1 million most-affected people in 19 districts. However, it is expected that only some 20 000 tonnes out of the 42 000 tonnes required, will be distributed before the next harvest.

An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission will visit the country from 6 May.