Reference Date: 21-August-2015
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Cereal production in 2015 decreased sharply, on account of poor seasonal rains
Food prices remained stable during the first half of 2015
Reduced domestic cereal production results in tighter food security conditions in 2015/16
Poor seasonal rains resulted in a sharp production decrease in 2015
The 2015 aggregate cereal crop, harvested in June, is estimated at 9 000 tonnes, 70 percent down from last year’s already reduced output. The sharp decrease is mostly on account of insufficient rains during the cropping season (November‑June), with a severe dry period between February and March causing widespread crop failure and a significant reduction in yields. Millet production registered the largest relative fall compared to 2014’s output, while the 2015 maize crop recorded the biggest absolute decline.
Grazing and drinking water availability for animals were also adversely affected by the poor rains, and livestock farmers have been encouraged to reduce their animal numbers to mitigate the impact.
Inflation rates have remained subdued and generally stable in 2015
The overall inflation since the start of the year has remained generally flat, with the bread and cereal subcomponent of the national consumer price index registering a small year-on-year decline in June 2015. However, compared to the previous month, this subcomponent had increased moderately, partly reflecting higher grain import costs from South Africa as well as some upward pressure from the poor domestic output.
Food security worsens following the poor cereal harvest
The level of food insecurity has risen moderately in 2015/16 as a result of the reduced cereal production. Households that are reliant on seasonal farm labour are particularly vulnerable, with reduced farm employment opportunities in 2015 expected to constrain income levels and consequently their capacity to access food. The results from the Botswana Vulnerability Assessment Committee’s 2015 evaluation indicate a small 3 percent increase in the number of people requiring assistance to 30 318.