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

Heavy rains in February and March over most parts of the country, except in the extreme south, resulted in localized floods along the Zambezi and Luangwa rivers. Localized floods affected areas in Western, Luapula, Northern and Central Provinces. Other affected areas are the Luangwa Valley (including areas in the districts of Serenje, Mpika, Mambwe, Lundazi, Katete, Chipata, Nyimba and Luangwa). By contrast, prolonged dry weather in Southern (Livingstone and the Gwembe Valley) and Western (Sesheke, Shangombo and Senanga) Provinces is anticipated to result in sharply reduced yields in these areas.
Overall, prospects for the 2001 maize crop have deteriorated with the widespread excessive rains. Production is forecast to decline from last year's bumper crop, reflecting also decline in the area planted because of low prices at planting time and large carryover stocks from the previous season. Imports of maize will be necessary in 2001/02 (May/April).