|††||Crop Prospects and Food Situation|
Low-Income Food-Deficit country food situation overview
In the group of 82 Low-Income-Food Deficit Countries (LIFDCs), the main 2006 cereal crops have already been gathered in several areas, including Northern Africa, Southern Africa, CIS Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, while the seasons are well advanced in Western Africa, Eastern Africa and Asia. FAOís latest forecast for the LIFDCís 2006 cereal production, based on the condition of cereal crops already in the ground by mid-September, stands at about 873 million tonnes, 2.1 percent above the good level of the previous year. This would be the third consecutive year of increase in the cereal output of LIFDCs, although at a slower growth rate than in 2005. Excluding the largest producers China and India, the aggregate production of the rest of the LIFDCs expands at a somewhat higher rate of 2.4 percent. Bumper cereal crops were obtained in countries of Northern and Southern Africa, where the outputs recovered from the reduced levels of last year. In Western and Eastern Africa, overall prospects for the harvests improved substantially following widespread abundant rains in August and productions are now forecast around the very good levels of 2005. In Asia, harvesting of the main rice and maize crops are underway and the aggregate cereal production is forecast higher than in 2005 and above average. Large increases are expected from China and India, despite localized droughts. In LIFDCís of Latin America and the Caribbean, latest forecast points to improved cereal productions, with the exception of Honduras which was affected by a prolonged dry spell during the main crop season.
Following the improved production prospects for the 2006 cereal crops, import requirements of the LIFDCs as a group, in marketing seasons 2006/07 are estimated at about 88 million tonnes, a level quite similar to the previous season. More than half of this requirement is in countries of Asia, in particular China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines. In India, cereal imports are expected to reach some 6 million tonnes, compared with only 500†000 tonnes last year, as the country needs to replenish stocks. In Africa, cereal import requirements are forecast to decline by about 10 percent reflecting anticipated good harvest in all subregions. Early estimates of food aid needs in Africa also point to a decline of 12 percent from last yearís level.
Food aid distributions/pledges in countries of Eastern, Western and Central Africa, still in marketing year 2005/06, have increased considerably since the last report. Estimates based on information available as of August 2006 indicate that the food aid requirements in these subregions have been covered by 84 percent, 70 percent and 60 percent respectively. Actual food aid allocations in 2005/06 are likely to increase once full information on deliveries until 31 December 2006 becomes available.
Table 4. Cereal import position of Low-Income Food-Deficit countries1 ( thousand tonnes)
1For more details see Table A2 in the Statistical appendix.
2For definition of import requirements see terminology on back cover.
3Estimates based on information available as of August 2006.
|GIEWS||††global information and early warning system on food and agriculture|