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GIEWS Update-detail
FAO/GIEWS Global Watch

22 February 2006

Severe Food Shortages Emerge in Parts of Tanzania

In Tanzania, the 2005/06 short “vuli” season crops in the bi-modal rainfall northern areas have failed due to severe drought conditions. Normally, the vuli crop accounts for about 30 percent of annual production of the bimodal areas. Also, the delay of the ‘msimu’ rains for the unimodal areas that usually starts in November has caused concern. Recent observed rains were a respite but not enough to reverse the situation.

Wholesale commodity prices continue to rise in key markets as domestic supply tightens in Tanzania; a situation projected to stay through to the second quarter of 2006. In January 2006, monthly national average maize prices stood at more than 85 percent higher than at the same time in 2005. The high increase in prices is evidenced across the country in both food surplus and deficit areas.

In response, a vulnerability assessment was carried out by the Food Security Information Team (FSIT), in late January 2006. The assessment has revealed a widespread prevalence of severe food shortages affecting an estimated 3.76 million people. Food assistance requirements, until the next harvest in May 2006, are estimated at about 100 000 tonnes. In addition, the provision of about 3 400 tonnes of early maturing seeds is required in order to assist the recovery of the farming community during the current agricultural season.

For a copy of the full report of the vulnerability assessment, please contact pask@kilimo.go.tz