|No.4 July 2007|
|Crop Prospects and Food Situation|
Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries1/ food situation overview
After four successive years of relatively strong growth, the cereal production of LIFDCs in 2007 is forecast to increase by just 1.2 percent from 2006, which is below the rate of population growth . This, coupled with higher international export prices of cereals, is likely to result in a less comfortable supply situation of the LIFDCs in the new 2007/08 marketing year. Moreover, once the largest producers China and India are excluded, the aggregate cereal output of the rest of LIFDCs is forecast to decline slightly from last year.
In the LIFDCs in North Africa, preliminary estimates of the recently harvested 2007 cereal crops point to a decline of 25 percent from last year’s level, which mostly reflects a 75 percent reduction in Morocco, severely affected by drought. In Southern Africa, where harvesting of the 2007 main season cereal crops is completed, the aggregate cereal output is estimated 2 percent higher than the good crop of last year and one-quarter above average. However, the outcome is mixed with sharply drought-reduced crops in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland, and record or above-average harvests in Malawi, Angola, Mozambique, Madagascar and Zambia. In Eastern Africa, the overall prospects for the 2007 cereal crops are favourable so far, but the aggregate output is forecast to decline slightly from last year, when record harvests were obtained in several countries. Planting is well advance in the main producers Ethiopia and Sudan, as well as in Eritrea, and the early outlook is positive. In Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, where the 2007 main season crops are being harvested, or about to be harvested, overall prospects are satisfactory despite dry weather and anticipated reduced crops in parts. By contrast, in Somalia, the outcome of the main season cereal crops, to be harvested from August, is anticipated to be poor due to erratic and below average rains. In Asia, Far East timely monsoon rains benefited planting and early development of the main rice and coarse grains, while bumper 2007 wheat crops have been gathered in China, India and Pakistan. Only in Bangladesh, the wheat crop was reduced by unfavourable weather conditions. Overall, cereal production is forecast to increase from last year’s above average level. In the three LIFDCs of Central America, another good cereal harvest is in prospects in Haiti, and the outlook for the main season cereal crops, to be harvested from August, are favourable in Honduras and Nicaragua following good weather conditions since planting.
The aggregate cereal import requirements of the 82 LIFDCs in marketing years 2006/07 or 2007 (calendar basis) are currently forecast by FAO at 90.3 million tonnes, some 3 million tonnes above the previous year’s actual imports, including a food aid requirement of 4.6 million tonnes. This mainly reflects an increase of about 7 million tonnes of wheat imports expected in India, which would more than offset lower volumes anticipated in most of the other LIFDCs, notably in North, Eastern, Southern and Western Africa, where record or bumper crops were gathered in 2006. Based on information received by GIEWS as of mid-June, nearly three-quarters of the food aid requirements for 2006/07 or 2007 have been covered by donors’ deliveries or pledges. In Southern Africa, where countries have just entered their new marketing year, import requirements, both commercial and food aid, were fully covered. In countries of North Africa and in the four countries of Latin America, food aid deliveries/pledges have more than covered the requirements in 2006/07. Good progress has also been made in Western and Eastern Africa where pledges/distributions of food aid covered about two-thirds of the requirements.
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$1 575 in 2004), 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|