FAO/GIEWS: Africa Report No.2 - August 2002 p.57

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Area:17 000 sq km
Climate:Highland rainy climate. Rainy season: October-April; cool temperatures in May- September
Population:1.06 million (2002 estimate); G.N.P. per caput: US$1 390 (2000)
Specific characteristics of the country:Low-income food-deficit country; land-locked country
Logistics:Good road network; imports through Mozambique or South Africa
Major foodcrops:Maize
Marketing year:May/April; Lean season: February-April
Share of cereals in total calorie intake:55 percent


An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission in April estimated the 2002 cereal crop, mainly maize at 68 000 tonnes. This is 18 percent below last year’s poor harvest and 37 percent lower than the average of the last five years. Despite an increase of 4 percent in the area planted, prolonged dry spells severely affected crops during their critical flowering stage. Production in the dry Middleveld, Lowveld and the Lobombo Plateau, which experienced dry weather from December to February, has been particularly poor.

The cereal import requirement in marketing year 2002/03 (April/May) is estimated at of 111 000 tonnes. Commercial cereal imports are forecast at 96 000 tonnes and food aid for 144 000 most vulnerable population at 15 000 tonnes, which will need to be covered by the Government and external assistance.


 WheatRiceCoarse grainsTotal
     Previous five years average production-1108109
     Previous five years average imports4073077
2002/03 Domestic Availability9-6877
     2002 Production (rice in paddy terms)--6868
     2002 Production (rice in milled terms)--6868
     Possible stock drawdown9--9
2002/03 Utilization454139188
     Food use454135184
       of which: local purchase requirement----
     Non-food use--44
     Exports or re-exports----
     Possible stock build up----
2002/03 Import Requirement36471111
     Anticipated commercial imports3645696
     Food aid needs--1515
Current Aid Position    
     Food aid pledges----
       of which: delivered----
     Donor-financed purchases----
       of which: for local use----
                        for export----
Estimated Per Caput Consumption (kg/year)424127173
     2002 Production as % of average:   62
     2002/03 Import requirement as % of average:   144

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