FEWS Zambia Monthly Report Sep 2003 - Buyers' market for maize continues

Situation Report
Originally published



Normal rainfall is expected over much of Zambia during the 2003/04 rainy season. The full onset of the rainy season is expected by November, and farmers are advised to start planning for early land preparation and planting.

Local cereal availability has remained satisfactory since harvesting in May 2003. However, there is still a huge balance of crops yet to be purchased by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).

Farmers are likely to increase their maize sales to millers during September and October because the FRA may not purchase all the intended maize on time.

FEWS NET recommends a quick re-assessment of the current state of the national cereal surplus and the food balance sheet to guide export planning.

In the short-run, a buyers' market will continue. As a result of increased supply by the small-scale sector, millers will offer less and less per metric ton and will only be constrained by storage space and financing.

Breakfast and roller meal prices stabilized during July and August, although prices have increased by 5 percent since then.

The government has awarded a contract for supply of 60,000 MT of fertilizer and 3,000 MT of seed under the Fertilizer Support Program (FSP) in preparation for the 2003/04 agricultural season. On 25th September, the government officially launched the FSP, and it is likely that most farmers will receive the inputs on time.

US$29.8 million United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for the Humanitarian Crisis in Zambia officially launched. FEWSNET feels the approved projects will assist the recovery phase only if the right beneficiaries are targeted.

The Vulnerability Assessment Committee (VAC) plans a food security rapid verification assessment in districts requesting relief food.

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