Harare, January 13, 1998 -- The
robust rains falling on parts of southern Africa have diminished, but not
extinguished, fears that a scorching El Niño drought will wither staple
harvests during the key growing months of January and February.
However, experts say this wet New Year
will have to continue for at least the next eight weeks to ensure sturdy
crop yields -- and to offset the smaller acreage planted in several countries
in anticipation of an El Niño drought.
Over the past month, southern Africa
has benefited from the seasonal rains that have thwarted an El Niño drought.