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The SADC Food Security Bulletin: Special maize Update


Harare - Zimbabwe
SADC REGIONAL OVERVIEW

While preliminary forecasts are yet to be made in most SADC countries, indicative REWU forecasts suggest a 26% decline in the 2000/2001 SADC maize harvest to between 14.45 and 15.10 million tonnes compared with last season's above-average output of 20.10 million tonnes. The decline is attributed to reduced plantings in South Africa and Zimbabwe, excessive rains and flooding in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, while a devastating mid-season dry spell affected several other countries.

Increased maize production than last season is forecast only for Tanzania and Mozambique while the same output as last season is currently forecast for Lesotho and Swaziland.

Floods have ruined over 30,000 hectares of cropland and displaced 400,000 people in Mozambique. Also displaced are 200,000 people in parts of Malawi, eastern Zambia and northern Zimbabwe. Official emergency appeals to help flood victims have already been made in Mozambique and Malawi.

Indications are that a regional maize deficit/import requirement of between 2.10 million tonnes and 2.75 million tonnes is in prospect for the 2001/2002 marketing year as compared to a regional surplus of 1.71 million tonnes in 2000/2001 marketing year. Only Malawi and South Africa are projected as showing domestic maize surpluses in the 2001/2002 marketing year.

Angola: Maize production to either remain the same or fall by 20% ...

Preliminary assessments, based on rainfall performance and remotely-sensed information, suggest the 2000/2001 maize harvest either remaining the same as last year at 395,000 tonnes or declining by as much as 20% to 316,000 tonnes. Erratic early season rains, coupled with excessive rains in the north and dry spells in January in the southern and central provinces have led to reduced yield. Area planted may also have declined due to intensification of civil conflict.

Due to anticipations of a reduced maize output, the food supply situation for the 2001/2002 marketing year is likely to remain critical and a domestic shortfall of between 422,000 tonnes and 501,000 tonnes is projected.

BOTSWANA: Maize output is 74% below last year...

Preliminary forecasts for the 2000/2001 cereal harvest made after the last Assessment Tour indicate total maize production of only 2,400 tonnes, and 7,350 tonnes of sorghum/millet. The maize forecast is 74% below last year’s harvest of 9,347 tonnes, and only 20% of the average for the last 5 years. The severely reduced production is due to the poor rainfall distribution and continuous dry spells that characterised the rainfall situation especially during the months of December and January. The dry spells and the associated heat waves came during the seedling and vegetative stages resulting in poor germination, wilting and stunted growth of crops. Area planted to cereal crops is also assessed to be very low as a result of the poor rains as well as high tractor hire charges. In communal areas, cropped area is estimated at 42% of that planted last year, and yields are quite low, with even zero yields reported in some districts.

Preliminary assessments point to a maize shortfall of 146,000 tonnes for the 2001/2002 marketing year compared to a 139,000 ton deficit in 2000/2001. Accordingly, poor food availability at household level is anticipated during the coming 2001/2002 marketing year.

LESOTHO: Maize harvest of up to 118,000 tonnes is below 5 year average...

REWU indicative forecasts point to a below normal maize harvest (between 96,000 tonnes and 118,000 tonnes) this season on account of a combination of weather factors that had an adverse impact on an otherwise promising summer crop. This forecast is well below the average of 136,000 tonnes recorded over the last five years. Over the last dekad of December, and into the first dekad of January, the mountain districts and some of the foothills experienced hailstorm, frost, and then a severe dry spell from mid-January continuing into February. The dry conditions had an adverse effect on the summer crops which were at a critical stage of development ranging from flowering to grain-filling stages in mountain areas. Yields from the crop in the foothills and lowlands are also forecast to be generally poor due to poor rains at the start of the season, and the January dry spell.

Preliminary supply/demand projections by REWU for the 2001/2002 marketing year indicate a maize shortfall of up to 165,000 tonnes, implying increased import needs. The projected deficit compares unfavourably with the 2000/2001 maize deficit of 148,000 tonnes.

MALAWI: Maize crop of 2.13 million tonnes is higher than 5 year average...

NEWU preliminary maize forecasts for the 2000/2001 season indicate a maize output of about 2.13 million tonnes, which is a drop of about 15 per cent from last season’s production but still slightly higher than the immediate past 5 year average (1996 - 2000) of 2.03 million tonnes. Maize production has been adversely affected by dry spells in January in Southern and parts of Central regions and the continuous and in some cases heavy rains that have affected most parts of the country. Floods have been reported in a number of districts leading to loss of crops and lives especially in the lower Shire Valley bordering Mozambique. An appeal has been made to the donor community for about US$ 6.7 million in relief aid to assist some 360,000 flood affected people in the country.

A maize surplus of about 356,000 tonnes is currently projected for the 2001/2002 marketing year, which indicates a continued satisfactory food security situation at the national level. People affected by floods will however depend on food aid for much of the coming marketing year.

MOZAMBIQUE: Increased maize output of between 10% and 20% of last year is forecast...

Tentative forecasts point to a 10% increase in output of the major cereals, 12% increase in legumes and increased production of cassava (7%) despite the destruction to crops caused by flooding in the central provinces. Maize production is forecast to increase by between 10% and 20% over last year (1.12 million tonnes to 1.22 million tonnes). Early assessments suggest that flooding has claimed 75 lives, affected up to 500,000 people and has ruined close to 33,000 hectares or 2% of cropland in the central Tete, Sofala, Manica and Zambezia provinces. In contrast, drought conditions have compromised production prospects in the southern provinces of Inhambane, Gaza and Maputo. While the overall crop outlook elsewhere remains satisfactory, harvest prospects could deteriorate if the recent heavy rains continue.

Government has declared a state of emergency in the flood-affected areas and appealed for international humanitarian assistance, apart from ensuring adequate food needs for the 2001/2002 marketing year. Preliminary assessments point to a maize deficit of between 149,000 and 251,000 tonnes for the 2001/2002 marketing year.

NAMIBIA: Maize output falls to between 60% and 90% of average...

REWU forecasts maize production to be between 60% and 90% of average production, putting the maize crop at between 18,000 - 27,000 tonnes. This compares quite unfavourably with last year’s maize harvest of 49,000 tonnes, which was well above average. Production was adversely affected by a combination of late onset of rains, a very low amount of rainfall, and a lack of draught power for ploughing. These led to delayed planting especially in North Central regions as well as Kavango and parts of Caprivi region, and ultimately to reduced area planted to cereal crops. The poor rains also affected the commercial sector where farmers were forced to dry plant about 20 per cent of their normal total planted area.

REWU projects a 2001/2002 maize deficit of between 109,000 tonnes and 118,000 tonnes which points to an increased import requirement compared to the 2000/2001 level of 84,000 tonnes of maize. The country may face problems in satisfying this requirement based on this year's performance when less than half of the 84,000 tonnes required had been delivered by the end of February.

SOUTH AFRICA: Maize harvest falls to 6.5 million tonnes against 10.58 million tonnes last year...

Early official forecasts point to a much reduced 2000/2001 maize harvest of 6.5 million tonnes compared with last year’s good crop of 10.58 million tonnes. Accounting for the drastic drop in prospects are a mid-season dry spell and high temperatures in January in the major cereal growing areas such as the Free State as well as an estimated 20% decline in maize plantings due to stagnant producer prices resulting in a shift to more lucrative crops.

Despite reduced production prospects, a maize surplus of at least 153,000 tonnes is projected for the 2001/2002 marketing year owing to large stocks (assessed at 2.5 million tonnes) carried-over from the previous marketing year.

SWAZILAND: Maize forecast at below-normal harvest...

Early forecasts point to a very poor maize harvest - almost similar to the well below normal harvest of 71,000 tonnes that was realised last season. REWU estimates production to be within 10% of last year, which itself was about 32% below the average for the last five years. Although cumulative rainfall received during the season has been normal to above-normal in most areas, the southern areas were devastated by a heavy hailstorm in December which led to destruction of over 1970 hectares of cropland. A mid season dry spell from January into early February severely affected the maize crops, and most plants were not likely to recover from the moisture stress, despite the resumption of normal rains from mid February.

Preliminary demand/supply projections for the 2001/2002 marketing year indicate a large maize import requirement of between 66,000 tonnes and 80,000 tonnes - a level comparable only to the drought years of 1992/93 and 1995/96. Food supplies at household level are anticipated to be very tight especially since last season's harvest was also very poor.

TANZANIA: Maize forecast to increase by 13.5% to 2.28 million tonnes...

The 2000/2001 season indicative forecasts point to a 13.5 per cent increase in maize production to 2.28 million tonnes from last season’s harvest of 2.01 million tonnes. The increase in production is mostly due to reasonably good seasonal rains which have however tended to be above normal in recent weeks. The recent continuous and, in parts, heavy rains have led to water logging conditions as well as floods which damaged crops and displaced and killed a number of people in some areas. Meanwhile harvesting of beans from the ‘vuli’ rains is underway in northern areas such as Kagera Region.

Current assessments indicate a very little improvement in the maize supply situation for the 2001/2002 marketing year as the deficit reduces only slightly to 691,000 tonnes compared to 793,000 tonnes in the 2000/2001 marketing year. However, the increased rains may well improve production of non-cereal food crops such as plantains and sweet potatoes.

ZAMBIA: Maize crop of between 76,000 tonnes and 1.05 million tonnes is lower than 1.31 million tonnes of last year...

REWU-compiled forecasts put the 2000/2001 maize production at between 786,000 tonnes and 1.05 million tonnes, which is 60 to 80 per cent of last season’s output of 1.31 million tonnes. Crop yields have generally been adversely affected by continuous rainfall mostly in February and March that have led to water logging and flood conditions in some parts of the country including some high cereal producing areas of the Eastern and Central Provinces. These conditions have led to yellowing of the maize and stunted growth leading to reduction in expected crop yields. The extreme south has, on the hand experienced dry spells which have led to loss of crop due to permanent wilting.

Given the current prospects, the country may face a maize deficit \import requirement of between 147,000 tonnes and 409,000 tonnes during the 2001/02 marketing year; a less favourable situation compared to 2000/2001 year when a maize surplus of about 120,000 tonnes was assessed.

ZIMBABWE: Maize output forecast to decline to about 1.30 million tonnes...

Early and tentative crop assessments suggest a maize harvest of between 1.14 million tonnes and 1.30 million tonnes from the 2000/2001 crop season. Production prospects were compromised by late onset of the rains, a devastating dry spell in January leading to complete crop failure in parts of the southern and western provinces while subsequent excessive rains and flooding in late February/early March led to crop losses in the northern areas. Maize plantings are 22% down on last year and yields are expected to be fair to poor.

Given a poor maize harvest outlook of up to 1.30 million tonnes and projected opening stocks of close to 500,000 tonnes (giving availability of 1.8 million tonnes), maize availability is projected as falling short of domestic requirements estimated at 2.50 million tonnes, leaving a shortfall of up to 700,000 tonnes (500,000 tonnes of which is SGR requirement). The situation is to become clearer as more upto date forecasts become available in the next few weeks.

SADC: MAIZE PRODUCTION FORECAST FOR 2001/02 SEASON ('000 tonnes)

UPDATED: 16th March, 2001

ANG
BOT
LES
MAL
MOZ
NAM
RSA
SWA
TAN
ZAM
ZIM
SADC
A.. AVAILABILITY:
A.1 OPENING STOCKS (expected)
3
10
15
400
10
3
2500
15
120
80
475
3631
A.2 GROSS HARVEST
high prodn. scenario
395
2
118
2130
1223
27
6500
78
2280
1048
1300
15101
low prodn. scenario
316
2
96
2130
1121
18
6500
64
2280
786
1140
14454
A.3 TOTAL AVAILABILITY (A.1+A.2)
high prodn. scenario
398
12
133
2530
1233
30
9000
93
2400
1128
1775
18732
low prodn. scenario
319
12
111
2530
1131
21
9000
79
2400
866
1615
18085
B. REQUIREMENTS:
B.1 CONSUMPTION *
805
139
266
1994
1334
129
8002
156
2941
1265
2008
19038
B.2 CARRYOVER STOCKS
15
20
10
180
48
10
845
3
150
10
500
1791
B.3 TOTAL REQUIREMENTS
820
159
276
2174
1382
139
8847
159
3091
1275
2508
20829
C. SURPLUS( ) / DEFICIT (-) [ A3 - B3]
high prodn. scenario
-422
-146
-144
356
-149
-109
153
-66
-691
-147
-733
-2097
low prodn. scenario
-501
-146
-165
356
-251
-118
153
-80
-691
-409
-893
-2745
MAIZE SELF - SUFFICIENCY UNDER DIFFERENT PRODUCTION SCENARIOS FOR THE 2001/02 MARKETING YEAR**
ANG
BOT
LES
MAL
MOZ
NAM
RSA
SWA
TAN
ZAM
ZIM
SADC
High Prodn
49
9
50
127
92
23
112
60
82
89
88
98
Low Prodn
40
9
42
127
85
16
112
51
82
68
80
95

* Calculated based on a 2 per cent increase in consumption over last season.
** Opening Stocks (A.1) plus Gross Harvest (A.2) as a percentage of Consumption Requirement (B.1).

Produced by: SADC, REWU