FAO/GIEWS: Africa Report No.3 - December 2003 p.3
Crop prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa are mixed. Twenty-three countries still face food shortages while others expect bumper harvests. This provides good potential for enhancing food security through trade between surplus and deficit areas. In addition, local purchases and triangular transactions are highly recommended.
In Somalia, cumulative effects of successive droughts in the Sool Plateau, including widespread loss of livestock and other income sources, have led to an alarming humanitarian situation.
In Eritrea, despite improved harvest prospects, serious food shortages persist with as many as two-thirds of the country’s population facing severe food shortages due to successive poor rains.
In Ethiopia and Sudan, a bumper 2003 harvest is expected to substantially enhance food security.
In the United Republic of Tanzania, despite an overall stable food supply situation, there are serious food security concerns for the central, southern and northern coastal areas due to drought.
In Uganda, intensified civil strife in the north and east has swollen the number of displaced people and increased humanitarian assistance needs.
A bumper crop is expected in the Sahel, following generally favourable weather throughout the growing season.
In Côte d’Ivoire, the food situation remains critical, particularly in the west and rebel-controlled north.
In Liberia, the humanitarian situation is improving following the signing of a peace agreement in mid-August and the deployment of a West African peace keeping force, but the overall security situation remains precarious.
In Sierra Leone, despite below-normal rainfall, the overall food security situation has improved with returning refugees and displaced farmers resuming farming activities.
In Central African Republic, food production is not expected to increase this year, notably in the north, due to insecurity at planting time coupled with seed shortages.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, food production continues to be hampered by insecurity.
Weather conditions for 2003/04 agricultural season which has just begun are forecast to be normal.
In Zimbabwe, widespread shortages of key inputs such as seeds, fertilizer, fuel and farm power are expected to limit area planted. Some 5.5 million people, or half of the country’s total population, are in need of emergency food assistance.
In Angola, food assistance is needed for 1.4 million returnees and other vulnerable people in spite of good harvests in 2003.
In Madagascar, an estimated 600 000 people in southern provinces need food assistance due to a poor maize harvest caused by drought last season.
In Mozambique, some 659 000 people in southern and central regions need food assistance due to near-total maize crop failure last season.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic is a major threat to the sub-region’s food security.