NAMIBIA (25 February)
Crop prospects in Namibia are uncertain. Rainfall in the first half of the growing season (October-December) was erratic in the northern crop-growing areas, adversely affecting crop germination and establishment. A shortage of draught power and high prices of maize seed at planting particularly in Caprivi and Kavango regions in the north-east may have significantly reduced planted area. However, the rainfall situation has improved since mid-January. An assessment of the crop situation has been undertaken by the National Early Warning Unit from 13-26 February and the results are expected to be available by mid-March. The condition of livestock is reported to be fair to good.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory, reflecting a steady flow of commercial maize imports. However, some 350 000 people who were seriously affected by a poor harvest last season are receiving food assistance from the Government.