Regional Update (updated 15th of July 2014)
This update is largely derived from the just concluded SADC Regional Vulnerability Assessment Annual Dissemination Meeting which took place from 30th June to 2nd July in Lilongwe, Malawi.
In general, the 2013/14 season had good amounts of well distributed rains in most countries with normal (Oct to Dec) to even above normal (Jan-Mar) rains. However, there was late onset of rains in some parts of the region including parts of Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland,
Zambia and Zimbabwe, and failed vuli rains in north-west Tanzania. Rains in Jan-Mar period were low for some areas in Namibia and Angola.
At the Dissemination Meeting, nine countries (Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia,
Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe) had finalised their annual vulnerability assessments for 2014/15. From the synthesis information, all countries with the exception of Lesotho and DRC experienced increases in cereal production. For 11 countries (Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi,
Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe) that had crop data available, regional cereal harvest increased by 15% from 33.5 million tonnes last year to 38.7 million tonnes this year. This is 20% above the average of the last five years. On the overall, the region has an 8% cereal shortfall before accounting for any exports outside the region.
An early outlook indicates that there is an 80% chance of an El Nino developing this upcoming season. However, the patterns of rainfall during the last 10 events of “el Nino” show little consistency in either increased or reduced rainfall that immediate concern about negative impacts on crop productions cannot be justified. The official seasonal forecasts for 2014/2015 season will be issued at SARCOF in late August 2014.