Southern Africa - Regional Food Security Update, May 2011
Lesotho · The preliminary findings of the Post Disaster Needs Assessment show that the agricultural sector is the most affected by the heavy rains. It is anticipated that in the second half of the year food security will deteriorate significantly.
· In the South, harvest of maize and peanuts was good compared to last year. · Price of fuel has risen by 2%.
· Harvesting of maize crops have started throughout the country and another maize production surplus is expected for the current main harvest.
· Pockets of food insecurity will persist in northern Malawi due to heavy rains and late-season flooding which occurred in march and April.
· Overall national crop production is expected to be normal given the good harvest prospects of the northern region.
· Prices of food products are decreasing in most markets.
· Water levels continue to recede and are presently stabilizing
· Some displaced people are beginning to return to their villages
· The expected production of maize is 11,044 million tons, which is 13.8% less than the 12,815 million tons in the previous season.
· Swaziland received the Letter of Comfort from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to facilitate the securing of a US$143 million (SZL1 billion) loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to inject into government coffers
· Fuel prices goes up again in May: Petrol increased by SZL 0.70 per litre and diesel by SZL 0.80 per litre
· The country has recorded another bumper harvest during the 2010/11 season recording a surplus of 1,661,626 MT. The increase has largely been attributed to increase in the area planted for small and medium scale farmers.
· Prices for the staple food commodities have remained low due to reduced demand on the markets as most populations across the country are mostly consuming their own produced staple foods.
· 2010-11 maize production is reportedly 9% up from the 2009-10 production while small grain production is down 19.5%.
· Some 42 out of 60 rural districts in the country will not meet their cereal requirements for the 2011-12 consumption year
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