GIEWS Country Brief: Botswana 16-January-2012

News and Press Release
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  • Mixed performance of rains during the beginning of the 2011/12 cropping season

  • Rise in inflation during 2011 mainly due to higher food prices

Rainfall performance was varied at the start of the 2011/12 cropping season

Planting of the 2011/12 cereal crops, mainly maize, millet and sorghum, is almost complete. Northern areas of the country received below-average rains in early November and together with high temperatures negatively affected planting and early development of crops. Rains however, resumed more normal patterns in late November and December over northern areas of the country. By contrast, south-western parts of the country continue to experience below average rains.

The provision of seeds and other inputs through the government’s Integrates Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development (ISPAAD) has continued for the current season. As of September 2011, an estimated 154 tonnes of seeds, including maize, millet and cowpeas, had been distributed to farmers across the country. However, the rate of distribution is below that of the previous year and only represents 6 percent of the total seed requirements. This could impact cropping activities and therefore potential production, particular at the subsistence level.

Despite generally favourable livestock conditions, reports in September 2011 indicated cases of foot and mouth disease (FMD). In response, the government implemented several measures, including movement restrictions and a vaccination programme. No new cases have been recorded as of December 2011.