AFRICA: Two successive poor harvests in Southern Africa have led to the worst food shortages in the sub-region since the devastating drought of 1992. About 13 million people are estimated to be in need of emergency food assistance. In eastern Africa, despite floods and land slides that destroyed crops in parts, prospects for current season crops are favourable. In Northern Africa, below average cereal production is anticipated in Morocco and Tunisia due to insufficient rainfall. In central and western Africa, civil strife continues to hamper agricultural production in Liberia, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
ASIA: In Afghanistan, the worst locust plague in 30 years and floods in parts have affected crop prospects. The underfunding of humanitarian operations is causing serious problems. The food situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip also gives cause for serious concern due to the intensified market disruptions and food shortages. In Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Georgia, shortages of irrigation water are undermining national food security. A locust invasion and floods in Tajikistan have damaged significant areas of cropland. DPR Korea and Mongolia continue to depend on international food assistance due to natural disasters and economic constraints.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN: In Central America, the food supply situation remains tight in areas of Guatemala and El Salvador affected by drought last year. Declining international coffee prices have worsened the situation. Food assistance continues to be provided to the most vulnerable groups. In Jamaica and Haiti, heavy rains and flooding at the end of May caused damage to rural housing and infrastructure, as well as to crops.
EUROPE: Output of wheat in the EC is forecast to increase sharply this year reflecting a significant expansion in the winter wheat area and generally favourable weather but coarse grains output could decline marginally. In eastern Europe most countries are expected to harvest cereal crops similar to or smaller than the previous year. Despite generally favourable weather in most parts, plantings have declined in some countries. In the European CIS, cereal production is estimated to decline by some 15 million tonnes due to unfavourable weather conditions in the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
NORTH AMERICA: Wheat output could fall further this year in the United States as plantings decreased and drought has affected some parts. By contrast, coarse grain area and production could rise somewhat. In Canada, increased wheat and coarse grains harvests are expected after a poor output in 2001.
OCEANIA: Winter grain planting in Australia has been hampered by excessively dry conditions. The final area planted will depend crucially on the amount of rains in the second half of June but it is already likely that the area sown, particularly of wheat, will decline.