Good rains in major growing areas in July
and August benefited developing cereal crops of the 2001 main "long
rains" season. The maize crop in the Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza
Provinces is reported to be in good condition. Preliminary official forecasts
indicate a maize output of 2.3 million tonnes, an increase of about 20
percent over the reduced harvest last year. Assuming normal "short
rains" production early next year, the 2001/02 aggregate maize output
is expected to be about 2.8 million tonnes. With substantial stocks, estimated
at 180 000 tonnes, at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) together
with private stocks and cross-border trade, total supply is anticipated
to cover consumption needs.
In response to expected good harvest and adequate stock levels, prices of maize, the staple crop, have declined considerably and are likely to decline even further. The Government has recently appealed to donors to increase local purchases to support the market.
The overall food supply situation has improved considerably in most of the country. However, pastoralists in eastern and north eastern parts continue to face serious food supply difficulties that are expected to persist until at least the short rains season harvest from December. The severe drought in 1999/2000 seriously undermined the food security of 4.4 million people, particularly in pastoral areas, and resulted in a massive relief operation. Notable improvement in rates of child malnutrition were reported indicating the impact of emergency interventions.
An Emergency Operation (EMOP) was jointly approved in August 2001 by FAO and WFP for food assistance to 3.16 million drought affected people. However, delays in shipments have been reported since January 2001.