CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (11 February)
Cereal output in 2003 is expected to have decreased for the second consecutive year to an estimated 117 000 tonnes. Despite overall favourable weather, persistent insecurity – notably in the north – inadequate availability of agricultural inputs and mass population displacements have resulted in a decrease in the area sown to cereals. In September, heavy rains in the north-eastern town of Sibit caused considerable casualties and damage to crops and livestock.
Imports of cereals in 2004 are tentatively estimated at some 41 000 tonnes, slightly higher than last year’s requirement.
It is estimated that more than 230 000 people have been displaced from their homes, including 41 000 who have taken refuge in Chad.