FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 2/01 - Rwanda

Preliminary indications are that food output of the recently harvested 2001 A season crop is at around or slightly lower than the good level of last year. Despite a delay to the start of the rainy season, precipitation was abundant and well distributed from mid-October to December. Although excessive rains in November resulted in floods and crop losses in parts, mainly in Gisenyi and Butare Prefectures, they generally benefited plantings and yields, particularly of cereals and pulses. Production of roots and tubers and banana and plantains was less satisfactory reflecting shortages of planting material and prolonged dry weather. Also, despite the overall positive picture, a poor harvest was gathered in the Bugesera region of Kigali Rural Province, due to seed shortages following successive reduced crops. A locally-organized Government/FAO/WFP/EU Mission has assessed this season's food production but its findings are not yet available.
The tight food supply situation has eased with the new harvest. Prices of maize, beans and Irish potatoes have decreased from their levels of a year ago. However, despite the overall improvement in the food situation, emergency food assistance is anticipated to be needed until the next harvest for people in the Bugesera region, particularly in Kanzenze and Gashora districts. WFP plans to distribute 13 000 tonnes of emergency food assistance for three months to 267 000 drought-affected people in southeast Rwanda.