|††||Crop Prospects and Food Situation|
Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries1/ food situation overview
For the LIFDCs as a group, FAO's early production forecasts indicate that the 2007 cereal production will be around the above-average level of 2006, when the output of the 82 LIFDCs was estimated at some 879 million tonnes, the sixth consecutive year of growth. This forecast is however highly tentative as the main season cereal crops are still to be planted in several regions of Africa, Asia and Central America.
In North Africa, where the main winter wheat crop is at the developing stage, prospects for the harvest from July are satisfactory in Egypt but in Morocco production is expected to decline sharply from the bumper harvest of 2006 due to insufficient rains at planting time and erratic precipitation during the growing season. Prospects are also mixed in countries of Southern Africa, where harvest of the 2007 main season coarse grains is about to start. Prolonged periods of dry weather have negatively affected the outlook in Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. While severe floods have resulted in localized crop losses in Zambia, Madagascar and lately Malawi, overall, good cereal outputs are still expected in these countries. In Mozambique, affected by dry weather in the south and floods in central parts, the outlook remains uncertain. In Asia, throughout the Far East, Near East and Asian CIS subregions, prospects for the 2007 wheat and early rice crops, to be harvested from June, are generally satisfactory with good outputs anticipated in most countries.
Table 2. Cereal Production1 of LIFDCs ( million tonnes)
1 Includes rice in milled terms.
Note: Totals computed from unrounded data.
Following bumper 2006 cereal harvests in most LIFDCs, cereal imports in marketing years 2006/07 are anticipated to decline in most regions. However, at aggregate level, the cereal imports of the LIFDCs are forecast at 88.6 million tonnes, slightly above the revised imports in 2005/06, mainly reflecting India's requirements of 6.6 million tonnes of wheat to replenish stocks, which compares with less than 1 million tonnes of cereals imported in the previous year.
Out of the LIFDCís total 2006/07 cereal imports, some 5 percent is expected to be in the form of food aid. According to information available to GIEWS by late March 2007, only 49 percent of the import requirement had been covered by commercial imports or food aid deliveries/pledges. In particular, in Southern Africa, where the new marketing year 2007/08 starts in April, imports have covered only 66 percent of the total expected volume. By contrast, food aid deliveries/pledges to Southern Africa have been satisfactory. However, the estimated food aid deliveries/pledges remain well below requirements in most other regions of the world.
Table 3. Cereal import position of Low-Income Food-Deficit countries ( thousand tonnes)
1 The import requirement is the difference between utilization (food, feed, other uses, exports plus closing stocks) and domestic availability (production plus opening stocks). Utilization is based on historical values, adjusted upon assessment of the countryís current economic situation.
2 Estimates based on information available as of late March 2007.
1.† The Low-Income Food-Deficit (LIFDC) group of countries includes food deficit countries with per caput annual income below the level used by the World Bank to determine eligibility for IDA assistance (i.e. US$1†465 in 2003), which is in accordance with the guidelines and criteria agreed to by the CFA should be given priority in the allocation of food aid.
|GIEWS||††global information and early warning system on food and agriculture|