08 Aug 2013 08:10
WINDHOEK, 08 AUG (NAMPA) - All countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region have experienced an increase in cereal production compared to 2012, except Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
This is according to a Regional Summary of 2013 SADC National Vulnerability Assessment Results published by the United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on Wednesday.
An overview of the 2012/2013 crop production season indicated that there was an overall cereal deficit of 4.01 million tonnes compared to a deficit of 3.98 million tonnes in the 2012/13 marketing year.
Compared to 2012, all countries experienced an increase in cereal production except Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. All countries are recording cereal deficits except Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, it stressed.
Production of non-cereal food crops such as roots and tuber crops, bananas, plantains and pulses continue to increase in Angola, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.
A regional maize surplus of 326 000 tonnes has been recorded. While individual country maize surpluses were recorded in Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, all other cereal crops indicate deficits.
According to the assessment, maize prices in the four major maize-producing countries (Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia) are currently declining, although they are slightly higher compared to the same time last year.
International prices of maize (US Yellow) are currently increasing, with levels above those recorded in the region except in Tanzania, according to the assessment.
The increase is related to tightening export supplies and concern over planting delays in the United Stated. The declining trend in Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia is likely to be short-lived due to the deficits experienced in many countries in the region, and increasing global prices, it stated.
Meanwhile, according to the assessment, the regional food insecure population is up 19 per cent compared to last year for the 10 countries which have comparable data.
It raised the concern that some affected areas have remained the same for a long period, indicating chronic vulnerability and high levels of poverty.