AFGHANISTAN* (25 April)
Prospects for the 2002 winter cereal crops, mainly wheat, are generally uncertain due to inadequate precipitation in some cereal producing areas, shortage of agricultural inputs and disruption of farming activities by the recent military operations which coincided with the planting season.
The food situation in Afghanistan remains grave, notwithstanding the relative calm and improved delivery of food assistance. Years of civil strife and three successive years of severe drought have exposed millions of people to extreme hardship. Even before the events of 11 September, Afghanistan was in the grip of a severe food crisis and intensifying economic problems due to continuing civil conflict. During the past three years, the country has suffered a devastating drought which compounded the impact of years of conflict and brought a large section of the population to the brink of starvation. In addition, a devastating earthquake in northern parts in late March resulted in hundreds of deaths and an estimated 10 000 people have been left homeless. Relief operations are underway and temporary shelters have been established for the homeless.
The 2001 cereal output has been estimated at about 2 million tonnes, well below average and about one-half of the production in 1998. As a result, cereal import requirements in the current marketing year 2001/02 (July/June) were forecast at a near record 2.2 million tonnes. An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission is planned to visit the country from mid June to assess the overall food supply conditions and estimate cereal import requirements in 2002/03, including food aid.
An Emergency Operation worth US$284.98 million was jointly approved in January 2002 by FAO and WFP for food assistance to some 9.88 million vulnerable people for a period of 9 months.
ARMENIA* (3 April)
Prospects for the 2002 grain crops are good and tentatively seen to match the sharply recovered harvest of the preceding year at 417 000 tonnes. This would be some 33 percent higher than the average of the past six years and would include 340 000 tonnes of wheat and 74 000 tonnes of coarse grains. However, the forecast production would depend on spring and early summer precipitation, which are crucial for coarse grains and potatoes, the latter being a major staple food crop. Cereal import requirement for the marketing year 2001/02 is estimated at about 338 000 tonnes including an estimated food aid requirement of 71 000 tonnes.
AZERBAIJAN (2 April)
Significantly large areas have been planted to winter cereals and official estimates indicate that grain harvest this year would be about 2.3 million tonnes, compared with the sharply recovered harvest of about 2 million tonnes in 2001. However, much will depend on spring and early summer precipitation.
Cereal import requirement for 2001/02 marketing year is estimated at 800 000 tonnes, including 780 000 tonnes of wheat and 20 000 tonnes of rice, which should be commercially procured. However the most vulnerable and internally displaced population will continue to depend on targeted food assistance
BANGLADESH (16 April)
Harvesting is underway of the 2002 winter wheat crop planted in November 2001. Despite temperatures higher than normal during the early stages of growth and delayed planting in some areas, subsequent favourable weather benefited crop growth. Presently the outcome of the harvest is estimated at 1.82 million tonnes, marginally below last year.
The irrigated Boro rice crop is gaining in importance and now accounts for about 49 percent of the national rice output. The crop is planted in November through January for harvesting from April. Despite below average rainfall from December 2001 through February 2002, adequate supplies of irrigation water and inputs benefited crop development, and the 2001/02 Boro harvest is expected to exceed the record output of last year. The outcome of the Aus crop harvested in July/August 2001 (accounting for about seven percent of the production) as well as that of the Aman (monsoon) crop harvested in October/December 2001 (about 44 percent of production) was slightly lower than the previous year. Nevertheless, with the expected record Boro crop, total production for 2001/02 is estimated at 26 million tonnes of rice (milled), which is a record.
Due to a marked rise in cereal production in recent years, cereal imports have been declining from a level of 4.2 million tonnes in 1998/99 to 1.7 million tonnes in 2000/01. For the 2001/02 marketing year (July/June) the import requirement is estimated at 1.8 million tonnes (rice 0.4 million tonnes and wheat 1.4 million tonnes). So far, 1.4 million tonnes have been imported, including 0.5 million tonnes of food aid.
CAMBODIA (8 April)
The dry season irrigated and flood recession paddy crops are being harvested. These crops account for about 20 percent of the annual rice output. An about average harvest of 0.8 million tonnes of paddy is expected. The main 2001/02 rice crop was harvested in December/January; despite a very dry July 2001 and excessive rains and flooding in August, the latest estimate points to an above-average harvest of 3.3 million tonnes of paddy. In aggregate, the 2001/02 paddy harvest is estimated at 4.1 million tonnes, equivalent to 2.6 million tonnes of milled rice, slightly below the good harvests of the past two years.
Following three years of good rice harvests, the national food supply situation in 2002 is satisfactory. However, Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in south-east Asia, and a large part of its population remains food-insecure, while thousands who were affected by the floods of 2000 and 2001 still need food assistance.
CHINA (15 April)
Good snow cover in early March in the major winter wheat producing provinces of Henan and Shandong (accounting for more than 40 percent of total wheat production) helped protect crops from low temperatures and will substantially improve soil moisture in these provinces. The area planted to winter wheat in September/October 2001 is estimated at 21.5 million hectares compared to 22.2 million hectares the previous year, a reduction of about 3 percent. This reflects dry conditions at planting time, low domestic wheat prices and attractive alternative crops. The latest forecast of the June 2002 harvest points to an output of 86.2 million tonnes. The spring wheat now being planted is tentatively forecast to produce some 6.2 million tonnes, which gives total national wheat production of 92.4 million tonnes for the 2002/03 marketing year (July/June), compared to 93.4 million tonnes the previous year.
The 2002 coarse grain crop, of which maize accounts for 90 percent, is now being planted. In the important maize growing north-eastern province of Jilin, sowing is seriously affected by very dry conditions. Provisionally, production of coarse grain is forecast at 130 million tonnes.
China’s paddy production has been falling over the past five years from a harvest of 200.7 million tonnes in 1997/98 to an estimated 177.0 million tonnes in 2001/02, mainly reflecting a decrease in the area planted. Indications are that the area for the 2002/03 early paddy crop, planted in February/March, has followed the downward trend, while lower plantings are also foreseen for both the main crop to be planted in May/June and the late crop to be planted in June/July. As a result, despite expected higher yields, the preliminary forecast of the total 2002/03 paddy harvest is 176.6 million tonnes (121 million tonnes milled rice).
The latest estimate of the 2002 national cereal production is 398.9 million tonnes, about the same as the poor crop of the previous year and 7.5 percent below the 1997/2001 average. The shortfall in production is expected to be met partly by higher imports and partly by drawdown of stocks.
CYPRUS (3 April)
The prospects for 2002 winter grain crops, for harvest from May, are favourable. Production of cereals in 2001, mainly barley, is estimated at 129 000 tonnes, some 50 percent above the average for the previous five years. Cereal production normally covers less than one-third of total domestic requirements.
Imports of cereals in 2001/02 (May/April), mainly wheat and barley, are forecast at about 650 000 tonnes, similar to the previous year.
EAST TIMOR (3 April)
The territory, currently administered by the United Nations, is still recovering from the civil unrest in late 1999 after the overwhelming vote for independence from Indonesia. Of some 250 000 to 270 000 people who fled the country, an estimated 60 000 refugees still remain in camps in Indonesian West Timor. Furthermore, in a recent survey carried out by the World Bank, the UNDP and other international organizations, it is estimated that some 340 000 people of the total population of 0.8 million live in poverty and under-nourishment. Assistance from the international community continues to be provided for the resettlement of East Timorese returnees.
Maize and rice are the main staples of the country, but cassava and sweet potatoes constitute an important part of the diet, especially in drought years. Harvesting of maize planted in November is about to start, while wet season rice planted in December/January will be ready for harvest in May/June. An about average harvest is expected.
On 20 May 2002, East Timor will officially become an independent nation.
GEORGIA* (25 April)
Exceptionally cold and dry winter and strong wind storms have compromised winter crops, while snowfall has been rather thin, which may have repercussions for summer crops. A reduced cereal harvest this year of 579 000 tonnes is, therefore, forecast compared with 718 000 tonnes in 2001. The forecast is based on the assumption that drought does not affect summer crops as much as it did in 2000. However, much will depend on late spring and summer precipitation. The western parts of the country have been particularly prone to drought, where many people have been in need of emergency food assistance.
WFP Emergency Operation for drought-affected people will be extended by two months until the end of June. In addition, activities under the ongoing protracted relief and recovery operation will continue until March 2003.
INDIA (16 April)
Prospects for the 2002 winter wheat crop, now being harvested, are good. Below normal, but timely rainfall in January and February 2002 accompanied by a prolonged cold spell benefited crop development. The latest estimate of production from the 26.5 million hectares planted in October/November 2001 is 73.5 million tonnes, some 7 percent above the harvest of 68.8 million tonnes of last year, but well below the record crop of 76.4 million tonnes in 2000.
Rice production in 2001 is estimated at 90.7 million tonnes, 7 percent more than the 84.9 million tonnes harvested last year, and a record. The production of coarse grains harvested in September/November 2001 is estimated at 30.9 million tonnes, which is about average. For 2002, the coarse grain production is provisionally forecast to increase to 33 million tonnes.
Following the good harvests of both wheat and rice in recent years, the overall food supply situation is satisfactory. India’s cereal stocks have grown to record and undesirably high levels, reflecting attractive farmers’ support prices, sluggish consumer demand and poor export opportunities. With yet another expected record procurement, India’s wheat and rice stocks in 2002 could grow to levels of 45 million tonnes and 30 million tonnes, respectively, or about 20 percent of world stocks of the two cereals.
INDONESIA (3 April)
Torrential rainfall from late January to mid February 2002 caused widespread flooding and landslides, with the islands of Java and Sumatra most seriously affected and the capital Jakarta in particular. Thousands of homes were destroyed, and almost 200 deaths related to the flooding have been reported. National and international relief organizations provide assistance with health and feeding programmes.
The floods only marginally affected the outcome of the 2001/02 main season rice crop, which is now being harvested. An assessment by the Ministry of Agriculture suggests that of a total area planted to paddy of 11.4 million hectares, the floods affected only 204 000 hectares, of which 10 000 hectares were totally lost. Thus, the national paddy production in 2001 is estimated at 49.6 million tonnes (31.2 million tonnes milled rice), against 51.9 million tonnes the previous year. The 2002 dry season paddy crop will be planted from May, while the main season crop is planted in October/November. A tentative forecast of paddy production in 2002 is 49 million tonnes.
In the main maize growing areas of East Java and Sumatra, the harvest started in January 2002 and is now complete. The heavy rains in January/February caused wet conditions during harvesting time, which affected the quality rather than the quantity of the maize crop. The 2002 national maize production is provisionally estimated at 11.1 million tonnes, about 21 percent above last year. The country produces no wheat.
Reflecting the lower paddy production, rice imports in the 2002/03 marketing year (April/March) are expected to increase. So far, 3 million tonnes of rice imports are planned, of which one million tonnes will be handled by the National Logistics Planning Agency, BULOG, and the remainder by private traders. Imports of wheat and maize will also be needed.
IRAN, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF (12 April)
Following three years of devastating drought, precipitation has improved this winter in most parts of the country, though in the major rainfed wheat regions in the north-west, rainfall still remained below average. In early April, heavy rain and floods in the central province of Isfahan caused localised serious damage to property, infrastructure, fields and tree crops. However, overall, both wheat and barley planted in September/October 2001 have benefited from the improved conditions. Tentatively, harvest is forecast at 8.5 million tonnes of wheat and 2 million tonnes of barley, well below normal, but a great improvement over last year’s poor output of 7.5 million tonnes of wheat and 1.65 million tonnes of barley. The rice crop is planted from mid-April to June for harvest from August through November. The outcome of the crop will crucially depend on the extent to which the recent precipitation has replenished dam levels for irrigation purposes.
Following improvement in cereal production, the import requirement in the coming marketing year is expected to decline from the high average of 9.9 million tonnes over the past three years. These high levels of imports reflect the impact of the three consecutive years of drought and the burden of a refugee population of over 2.5 million (more than 2.3 million from Afghanistan and 0.2 million from Iraq and other countries).
IRAQ* (3 April)
Despite improved precipitation compared to the previous three years, the outlook for 2002 winter crops remains uncertain. Cereal production will be affected by serious shortages of fertilizers, spare parts for agricultural machinery and other agricultural inputs. Production of cereals (mainly wheat and barley) in 2001 is estimated at 1.4 million tonnes, 21 percent below average.
Grain imported under the SCR 986 oil-for-food deal has led to significant improvements in the overall food supply situation, but malnutrition remains a serious problem.
ISRAEL (3 April)
The outlook for the 2002 wheat crop, for harvest from April/May, continue to be favourable, due to beneficial precipitation during the growing season. Production of wheat in 2001 is estimated at 150 000 tonnes, some 30 percent higher than the average for the previous five years.
Imports of cereals in 2001/02 (October/September) are forecast at some 2.8 million tonnes, 2.5 percent higher than the previous year.
JAPAN (4 April)
Japan produces only about one quarter of its domestic cereal requirement. Rice, which accounts for 90 percent of cereal production, is planted from mid May to July for harvest in September/November. To reduce carry-over stocks of rice and divert production to other crops, the Government in 1995 introduced the Rice Area Adjustment Programme. Since then the area has declined by 2 percent and production by some 3 percent. The 2001 rice crop for consumption in the marketing year 2001/02 (October/September) is estimated at 8.2 million tonnes (milled) compared to 8.6 million tonnes the previous year. Wheat is grown as a winter crop, being planted in October/November and harvested in June/July. The early forecast of the 2002 wheat production is 0.7 million tonnes. Some 0.2 million tonnes of coarse grain, mainly barley, are also grown annually.
Japan is the world’s largest importer of cereals. For the marketing year 2001/02 (October/September) cereal imports are forecast at 5.9 million tonnes of wheat, 16.1 million tonnes of maize and about 4 million tonnes of other coarse grains.
JORDAN (3 April)
Heavy snow cover in early January and favourable rains in March, following a brief dry period in February, improved prospects for the 2002 winter grains, for harvest from May. This signified a welcome relief from the severe drought conditions that seriously affected crop and livestock production in the previous three years.
Aggregate production of wheat and barley in 2001 was estimated at 20 000 tonnes, about 52 percent below the reduced crop of the previous year. Domestic cereal production normally meets only a small proportion of consumption requirements the rest being covered by imports. Imports of wheat in 2001/02 (July/June) are forecast at 800 000 tonnes, slightly higher than last year. Coarse grain imports are forecast at 1.2 million tonnes, about the same as in 2000/01.
KAZAKHSTAN (2 April)
Spring sowing campaign has had a good start owing much to ample soil moisture and favourable weather conditions. Total area under grains is seen to increase by 143 000 hectares in 2002 compared with 2001. FAO tentatively forecasts the 2002 grain harvest at about 16.6 million tonnes, which is about 600 000 tonnes higher than the good harvest in 2001. The forecast harvest this year includes 13.5 million tonnes of wheat, 2 million tonnes of barley and 260 000 tonnes of maize. The forecast will very much depend on the incidence of pests and diseases as well as precipitation levels during late spring and early summer season.
Kazakhstan is set to export 3.4 million tonnes of cereals during 2001/02 marketing year (July/June), nearly 3.0 million tonnes of which will be wheat. Stocks have increased from 1.5 million tonnes in 2000/01 marketing year to about 5.5 million tonnes in 2001/02 marketing year.
KOREA, DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF* (25 April)
Harvesting of the 2001/02 winter wheat crop will commence in mid-May. An estimated 57 000 hectares were planted in September/October 2001 and provisionally an output of 117 000 tonnes of wheat is expected. Under the Double Cropping Programme, the area will immediately after harvest be re-sown with spring wheat and spring barley before panting of the 2002/03 main season maize and rice crops. The aggregate production of winter and spring cereals is provisionally forecast at 178 000 tonnes, but following favourable rainfall, the figure may need to be revised. Together with the main season cereal crops harvested in September 2001, estimated at 2.9 million tonnes the total cereal production for consumption in the 2001/02 marketing year (November/October) is provisionally estimated at 3.1 million tonnes, compared to 2.3 million tonnes last year. Another important main staple is potatoes. For 2001/02 the potato production is estimated at 1.9 million tonnes or 475 000 tons in grain equivalent, against 290 000 tonnes last year.
Despite the higher food production, domestic supplies fall short of requirements by some 1.47 million tonnes in 2001/02. The commercial import capacity is not likely to exceed 100 000 tonnes, leaving 1.37 million tonnes to be covered by food aid or concessional imports. Of this, the WFP estimates that 525 000 tonnes of cereals and 85,000 tonnes of other food are required to provide nutritional support to 6.4 million beneficiaries, mainly children, pregnant and nursing mothers and elderly people. Against this requirement, so far about 275 000 tonnes, including carry-overs from last year that arrived in in early 2002. Thus, early in the third quarter, the WFP pipeline will have dried up if additional donor support is not immediately forthcoming. In addition, other donors have pledged 360 000 tonnes of cereals, of which 236 000 tonnes have been delivered. International donors are urged to increase pledges and expedite their delivery.
KOREA, REPUBLIC OF (1 April)
The main crop of the country is rice, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the cereal output. Some 400 000 tonnes of coarse grains (mainly barley) are grown annually, while virtually no wheat is produced. The rice crop harvested in October/November 2001 for consumption during the 2001/02 marketing year (October/September) is estimated at 5.52 million tonnes (milled), 4 percent up on 5.29 million tonnes produced in the previous year. This increase reflects abundant rains in July that boosted the areas planted as well as yields. The 2001 barley crop (the most important coarse grain) is now being harvested and the output is provisionally estimated at about 380 000 tonnes.
The Republic of Korea is one of the world’s largest importers of cereals. For the 2001/02 marketing year (October/September), imports are forecast at 3.9 million tonnes of wheat, 8.8 million tonnes of maize and 0.4 million tonnes of other coarse grains.
KYRGYZ REPUBLIC (3 April)
Prospects for 2002 crops are good and cereal harvest is expected to remain at the sharply recovered output of 2001 at 1.8 million tonnes. Kyrgyzstan has maintained and even slightly increased area planted to winter cereals and plans to increase area under spring and summer cereals in 2002 compared with the significantly increased area in 2001. This year area under cotton is planned to decrease by 2 000 hectares while area planted to sugarbeet would decrease by 5 400 hectares compared with 2001. Domestic cereal requirements are about 1.9 million tonnes. Therefore, cereal import requirement in 2001/02 marketing year is estimated at 165 000 tonnes.
LAOS (24 April)
Rice, which is the country’s main crop, is grown during two seasons. The wet season rice is planted in June/July and harvested in October/November and account for about 85 percent of annual rice output. The dry season irrigated crop, which is planted in December/January and harvested in April is entirely under high yielding varieties and is becoming increasingly important. The 2001/02 rice crop for consumption in the 2002 marketing year (January/December) is provisionally forecast at 1.32 million tonnes (milled), the same level as the previous year. This production virtually covers national consumption requirements. However, poorer sections of the population, predominantly in upland areas, have inadequate access to rice and are chronically food insecure and in need of assistance, as are victims of crop losses due to floods. WFP assistance is provided through both food for work projects and emergency operations.
LEBANON (3 April)
Prospects for the 2002 winter harvest in June/July remain favourable. Production of wheat and barley in 2001, estimated at 60 000 and 28 000 tonnes respectively, remained similar to the previous year. The country depends heavily on imports (around 90 percent) to meet demand for rice, sugar and milk powder.
Imports of cereals - mainly wheat - in 2001/2002 (July/June) are forecast at some 750 000 tonnes, similar to the previous year.
MALAYSIA (27 March)
Harvesting of the main season rice crop is almost complete and the secondary rice crop is being planted. Though below normal rainfall affected non-irrigated rice fields, the production from the main season was higher than last year. Providing fair weather for the secondary crop, the 2001 rice harvest is forecast at 1.49 million tonnes (milled) from a harvested area of some 700 000 hectares. This compares to 1.38 million tonnes produced in 2000 and the average of the previous five years of 1.36 million tonnes. As a result of the increase in production, Malaysia now covers more than 70 percent of its domestic requirement in rice, while the remainder is met by imports, forecast at some 600 000 tonnes in 2002.
Malaysia grows no wheat and only insignificant quantities of maize. The country’s requirement in these grains is met by imports, which for 2002 are estimated at 1.4 million tonnes of wheat and 2.9 million tonnes of maize.
MONGOLIA* (4 April)
Some 30 million livestock in Mongolia, which play a fundamental role in the nutritional status of the majority of the population, continue to be seriously stressed by harsh winter conditions. Temperatures in December 2001 were much below normal and below those of the previous year which, combined with heavy snowfall, brought further suffering to vulnerable pastoralists. Large numbers of their animals have died as a result of three harsh winters and the poor pastures caused by overgrazing and very dry weather last summer. These conditions have forced many families, into urban centres where there is already unemployment and few social services to support them.
Wheat is virtually the only cereal grown in the country. Production has declined progressively over the past years mainly due to structural changes in the economy. From an area of 650 000 hectares and a production of some 700 000 tonnes in the early 1990’s, only 290 000 hectares were planted in 2001 with an output of 191 000 tonnes. Planting of the 2002 wheat crop is about to start and harvesting will take place in September. Provisionally, production is forecast to remain unchanged from last year at some 190 000 tonnes. This covers only about 50 percent of domestic wheat utilization, leaving an estimated import requirement for 2001/02 of 202 000 tonnes. Imports of 32 000 tons of rice are also foreseen. The food aid need is 40 000 tonnes of which 31 000 tonnes have been pledged and delivered.
MYANMAR (16 April)
Harvesting of the 2001/02 dry season rice crop planted in October/November 2001 is underway. This crop normally accounts for about 15 percent of annual production. Following favourable weather, an about average harvest is expected. The main monsoon crop, which was harvested in November 2001, was above average. In aggregate, the 2001/02 rice output is estimated at 13.5 million tonnes (milled) from 6.4 million hectares planted. The wheat and coarse grains harvested in November 2001 yielded some 85 000 tonnes and 530 000 tonnes, respectively.
Reflecting the increase in rice production over the past years, the national food supply position is favourable. Myanmar, which was once the world’s biggest exporter of rice, has steadily increased exports in recent years. For the marketing year 2001/02 (July/June) the Government forecasts rice exports to reach 1 million tonnes, against 55 000 tonnes in 1999/00 and 241 000 tonnes in 2000/01.
NEPAL (24 April)
The 2001/02 wheat crop planted in November/December 2001 is being harvested. With normal growing conditions this season, an output of 1.1 million tonnes is forecast, slightly below the previous season. The rice crop harvested in November/December 2001 is estimated at 2.8 million tonnes (milled) compared to 2.7 million tonnes the previous year. Production of coarse grain (maize and millet) in 2001 was 1.8 million tonnes. The aggregate cereal output for consumption in the 2001/02 marketing year (July/June) is 5.7 million tonnes (rice in milled equivalent).
While this production by and large covers national cereal requirements, 42 percent of the country’s population of 22 million live below the poverty line and are food insecure. A number of relief agencies including WFP support the most vulnerable groups through feeding and health care projects, while assistance to some 100 000 Bhutanese refugees is also required.
PAKISTAN (12 April)
Harvesting is underway of the 2001/02 wheat crop planted in October/December 2001. The bulk of the wheat is irrigated, but about 15 to 20 percent of the crop is rainfed. The area planted is estimated to have decreased to 8.3 million hectares, mainly due to shortage of irrigation water. As a result, the estimated output of 19.2 million tonnes in 2002 is lower than the 20.0 million tonnes planned, and the 2000 record wheat production of 21.1 million tonnes.
Rice production is estimated at 3.5 million tonnes (milled), about one million tonnes below the previous season. This reflects shortages of irrigation water and a consequent combination of a lower area planted and lower yields. Tentatively, an output of 3.5 million tonnes of rice (milled) is forecast. The output of coarse grains harvested in September/October 2001 is estimated at 2.1 million tonnes.
Pakistan, traditionally an exporter of rice and an importer of wheat, emerged as a wheat exporter in 2000/01. Despite the lower production in 2002, large carryover stocks will enable the country to remain a net exporter in wheat in 2002/03 (May/April), but at a lower level. Reflecting reduced poor paddy harvest in 2001, rice exports in 2002 are tentatively expected to decrease to some 1.5 million tonnes, from 2.4 million tonnes exported in 2001.
However, large groups of vulnerable people, notably farmers without access to irrigation, livestock owners in drought stricken pastoral areas and smallholder fruit producers who have lost up to 60 percent of their trees need food and other assistance. On 22 March 2002, a WFP Emergency Operation was approved for food assistance to drought affected persons in Balochistan and Sindh provinces. The Operation will provide 20 500 tonnes of cereals and other food to 343 000 targeted individuals in the two provinces.
PHILIPPINES (16 April)
On 6 March 2002 an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale struck southern Philippines. On the island of Mindanao, a major rice growing area, it caused 15 deaths and extensive damage to infrastructure; there are no reports of serious impact to crop production.
Harvesting of the secondary season rice crop is about to start. An output of some 3.1 million tonnes of paddy is forecast. The latest estimate of the total 2001 paddy crop is 13.1 million tonnes (8.6 million tonnes milled), a third consecutive record output. This reflects a larger area planted under irrigation and higher yields following an increase in the use of hybrid rice seeds. Planting of the 2002/03 main season rice is due to start at the end of April. Providing normal growing conditions prevail, the output of paddy from the 2002 season is tentatively forecast at 13 million tonnes.
The 2001/02 maize production is estimated at 4.5 million tonnes from 2.6 million hectares, about the same as the previous year. The country produces no wheat.
The country, which used to be a leading rice producer, has in recent years become a major net importer of rice with an average import of 1 million tonnes over the past five years. However, as a result of the improved rice production, imports are expected to decline from this high level. For 2001/02, the Government estimates an import requirement of 390 000 tonnes, which has been put out for tender. As the country produces no wheat, its requirements are met by imports, estimated at 3.0 million tonnes for 2001/02, about the same as last year. Some 600 000 tonnes of maize imports are also expected.
SAUDI ARABIA (3 April)
Prospects for the 2002 wheat and barley crops, for harvest in April/May, are unfavourable due to adverse weather this season. Production of wheat in 2001 is estimated at about 1.8 million tonnes, similar to the previous year. Imports of coarse grains (mainly barley and maize) in 2001/02 (July/June) are forecast to remain unchanged at 6.5 million tonnes.
SRI LANKA (25 March)
Much below normal rainfall in 2001 caused a reduction in rice output, notably in seven districts in the south of the country. An estimated 1.6 million people are affected, of whom 300 000 are in need of food assistance. A WFP Emergency Operation to provide 22 680 tonnes of cereals and other food is underway to meet the immediate needs.
The main Maha rice crop planted in October/November 2001 has been harvested. After a normal start to the monsoon season, subsequent long dry spells in January and the second half of February 2002 affected yield potentials. Thus, production is not likely to exceed last year’s drought-reduced Maha crop of 1.1 million tonnes (milled). Assuming average growing conditions for the Yala crop to be harvested in August/September 2002, the total national production of rice in 2002 is provisionally forecast at 1.8 million tonnes (milled), about the same as in 2001.
SYRIA (3 April)
Reflecting abundant rainfall in the winter months, particularly in the western parts of the country, and adequate availability of agricultural inputs, the prospects for the wheat and barley crops to be harvested from May are favourable. Production of wheat in 2001 is estimated to have increased by about 1.8 million tonnes to a record level of 4.5 million tonnes. Barley output rose significantly to 1.3 million tonnes nearly double the average for the previous five years.
The General Establishment for Cereal Processing and Trade (HOBOOB) bought 3.5 million tonnes of wheat from farmers, up 84 percent on previous year purchases. Imports of wheat and rice in 2001/02 (July/June) are forecast at a total of 290 000 tonnes, nearly the same as last year while those of maize are forecast at 500 000 tonnes, about 37 percent below the previous year.
TAJIKISTAN* (3 April)
Reports point to an improved harvest this year compared with the drought-reduced harvest of the past few years. Tentatively forecasts indicate a grain harvest of about 400 000 tonnes in 2002, which is about 100 000 tonnes higher than the drought reduced harvest of the preceding year. However, spring and summer precipitation and snowmelt are crucial for achieving the forecast harvest. Some reports indicate that the drought may not have been over, ground water levels have not been sufficiently restored and the level of river flow is still below average. Even if the target harvest is achieved, Tajikistan will still require targeted food aid to the vulnerable, internally displaced and drought affected population. Cereal import requirement for the coming marketing year has been estimated at 793 000 tonnes, including 387 000 tonnes of food aid.
THAILAND (3 April)
Harvesting of the 2001/02 second rice crop planted in January/February is about to begin. Above average rainfall in December 2001 provided good soil moisture for planting of the crop. However, subsequent below normal precipitation from January to March 2002, caused some stress to unirrigated crops. Thus, the outcome from this harvest is forecast at 5.7 million tonnes of paddy, down by 6 percent from 6.1 million tonnes harvested last year. The 2001/02 main season rice harvest, completed in January 2002, is estimated at 19.6 million tonnes paddy. In aggregate, the 2001 paddy production is provisionally estimated at 25.3 million tonnes, equivalent to 16.7 million tonnes of milled rice, almost matching the record production of the previous year.
Thailand, the largest rice exporter in the world, in 2001 exported a record 7.52 million tonnes. The country’s rice exports in 2002 are presently forecast at 7 million tonnes, seven percent lower than last year.
TURKEY (3 April)
Prospects for the 2002 winter crops, to be harvested from June are favourable. Good winter rains and snow have helped boost crop forecasts, following three consecutive poor seasons. Wheat production in 2001 is estimated at 16 million tonnes, about 24 percent lower than 2000 due to dry and warm weather and poor availability of high quality seeds. Production of barley, estimated at 6.9 million tonnes, was 0.5 million tonnes lower than 2000. Output of coarse grains (mostly barley and maize) decreased by about 594 000 tonnes to 9.4 million tonnes. Paddy production is forecast at 300 000 tonnes similar to the previous year.
Wheat imports in 2001/02 (July/June) are forecast at 1.3 million tonnes compared with 0.4 million tonnes estimated for the previous year. Maize imports are also forecast to increase by 150 000 tonnes to 950 000 tonnes. Exports of wheat and barley in the year ending June 2002 are expected to decline sharply.
TURKMENISTAN (3 April)
Prospects for 2002 cereal production, mainly wheat, are good and similar to the good harvest of the preceding year. Improved but still below average precipitation, and increased area under wheat may enable the country to sustain the improved cereal harvest of last year, 1.6 million tonnes. Turkmenistan heavily depends on Amu and Murghab rivers for crop production. Precipitation and snowmelt upstream and hence the levels of water flow in the two rivers are crucial for crop production in the country. Some food shortages were reported last year in Mary province (bordering the Islamic Republic of Iran and Afghanistan) and Dashagouz (bordering Karaklpakstan region of Uzbekistan).
UZBEKISTAN* (3 April)
Early prospects for winter cereals, mainly wheat and barley, have improved with late winter and early spring precipitation. However, the river flow levels, which is the main source of irrigation, are still below average and ground water levels have reportedly not been sufficiently replenished due to three years of consecutive drought. Some 3.8 million tonnes are tentatively forecast for 2002, nearly 150 000 tonnes higher than the drought reduced harvest in 2001. Prospects for this year’s cereal harvest could improve with further precipitation during spring and summer and more importantly increased river flow levels in the two main rivers, Amu and Syr. The worst affected areas for the past two years have been Karakalpakstan and Khorzam autonomous regions, where a large number of people required emergency food assistance.
Cereal import requirement for 2001/02 marketing year is estimated at about 1 million tonnes. Food aid requirement is estimated at about 162 000 tonnes, including 60 000 tonnes of wheat, 92 000 tonnes of rice and 10 000 tonnes of maize.
VIET NAM (2 April)
Harvesting of the winter/spring rice crop is underway in southern regions, where below normal rainfall had only an insignificant effect on the crop. The output is estimated to be slightly below that of 2001. In the northern areas, rainfall has generally been above normal and a good crop is expected. The aggregate paddy production from all seasons in 2002 is tentatively forecast at 32.3 million tonnes, marginally above 31.9 million tonnes in 2001.
Vietnam, the number two rice exporter in the world, plans to export about 3.8 million tonnes of rice in 2002, against 3.5 million tonnes exported in 2001. However, the rice market is under pressure from India’s efforts to reduce its rice stocks, and during the first quarter of 2002 there was a sharp decline in Vietnam’s rice exports. Consequently, total rice exports in 2002 are likely to be below the target.
YEMEN (3 April)
Rainfall and temperatures for the main, sorghum and millet crops to be harvested towards the end of the year, are reported to be generally normal. Cereal production in 2001 is estimated at about 700 000 tonnes, about 1 percent above the level of the previous year.
As a result of several successive months of rainfall, low numbers of locusts could be present.
Imports of cereals in 2001 - mainly wheat - are estimated at about 2.4 million tonnes, an increase of some 9 percent compared with 2000.