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Country Briefs

  Botswana

Reference Date: 11-April-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Cereal production forecast to rebound in 2017 owing to favourable weather conditions

  2. Food prices increased slightly in early 2017 on an annual basis

  3. Food security expected to improve following stressed conditions in 2016/17

Favourable seasonal rains expected to boost 2017 cereal production

Harvesting of the 2017 crops is expected to begin towards the end of April. On account of the favourable weather conditions, cereal production in 2017 is forecast to rebound from the sharply-reduced output of the previous year. Provisionally, cereal production is forecast at an above-average level in 2017.

The good rains have rejuvenated pastures and water availability for animals, which were adversely affected by the prolonged and severe dryness in 2016, when livestock mortality averaged about 20 percent.

Food prices stable, but up on a yearly basis

Annual food prices, measured by the food and non-alcoholic beverages sub-index of the national CPI, were about 4 percent up on a yearly basis in February 2017. The increase partly reflects a moderate depreciation of the local currency against the Rand of South Africa, the country’s main trading partner, with South African imports satisfying over 90 percent of the domestic cereal requirements.

Food security anticipated to improve

The food security situation is expected to improve in 2017/18, mainly reflecting the anticipated growth in agricultural production. This follows stressed conditions in 2016/17 due to the impact of the drought, when the Botswana Vulnerability Assessment Committee’s 2016 evaluation estimated that approximately 1 million people were food insecure. The 2017 evaluation is expected to take place in May.

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