Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture Foodcrops and shortages
Global Information and Early Warning System on food and agriculture
April 2002


AFRICA: In eastern Africa, harvests have improved food supply but farmers' incomes have been severely affected by falling prices. In Southern Africa, the 2002 maize production is anticipated to be reduced in several countries. The food supply situation in Malawi, Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe is of particular concern. In western Africa, the food situation is generally satisfactory except in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone due to civil strife. In Central Africa, civil strife also continues to affect food production in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo.

ASIA: Most countries expect good harvests, but in China cereal production is estimated to be 7.5 percent below average. Production is also below normal in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In DPR Korea, emergency food supplies will be exhausted by July 2002, if new pledges are not forthcoming. In Mongolia, pastoralists have suffered yet another harsh winter. In Afghanistan, civil strife, successive years of drought and recent devastating earthquakes have exposed millions of people to extreme hardship. The food situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has deteriorated alarmingly as a result of a sharp escalation in military operations.

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN: In Central America, the overall food supply situation continues to be tight particularly in El Salvador and Guatemala, mainly as a result of the drought and other adverse weather phenomena which affected the crops last year. The situation has been aggravated by sharply declining international coffee prices. Food assistance continues to be provided in these countries. In Argentina, prospects for this year's maize crop are poor, as a result of reduced plantings and yields caused by excess rains at sowing.

EUROPE: The winter wheat area has increased significantly this year in the EC but dropped in the major producing eastern European countries. Weather conditions have been generally favourable throughout western and eastern countries for the winter crops and spring fieldwork so far. In the European CIS prospects for winter and spring grain harvest this year are favourable. With good weather conditions, larger sown areas and general availability of agricultural inputs, the 2002 cereal harvest is anticipated to be at least as large as the recovered harvest in 2001.

NORTH AMERICA: The United States' wheat area is expected to be down again this year but assuming normal weather for the rest of the season a larger harvested area and better yields could lead to a recovery in production. Early indications point to increased maize plantings this spring but a sharp decrease for sorghum. In Canada, early indications point to a decrease in wheat plantings this spring but an increase for coarse grains. However, if weather conditions return to normal, yields should recover from last year's drought-reduced levels and overall cereal output could increase.

OCEANIA: In Australia, wheat plantings are expected to increase this spring, but those for barley could decrease. Output of the minor 2002 summer coarse grains crops, to be harvested soon, is forecast to fall as a result of a decrease in plantings and the adverse weather during the growing period. In Cook Islands, the destructive fruit fly continues to pose a threat to the country's foodcrops. In Fiji, heavy rains and flooding in February resulted in considerable damage to sugar cane plantations.

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