Drought -- National Drought Mitigation Center


Date of this Version

October 1996


Published in Drought Network News October 1996. Published by the International Drought Information Center and the National Drought Mitigation Center, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska – Lincoln.


The 1995–96 cereal harvest in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is the best within the last ten years. Provisional assessments project a regional maize surplus of 2.08 million tons, a 72% increase in production over the previous year’s harvest. Overall cereal production substantially increased in all countries except Tanzania, where the current cereal forecast of 3.73 million tons is a 14% drop from last year’s output of 4.34 million tons. Of special note are the exceptionally large increases in the area planted in cereals in war-ravaged Angola and Mozambique, for the first time in many years. Production trebled in Botswana, doubled in Zimbabwe, and ranged from 21% in Malawi to 85% in South Africa.

Although all the SADC states harvested a normal to above-normal crop, only Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa have the capacity to export. The other countries need to import grain from these three to augment strategic grain reserves, especially maize.

Anticipated opening stocks for the 1996–97 marketing year are critically low despite the optimistic cereal supply expectations for the year. Cereal supplies during the period leading to harvest time remained less than satisfactory, particularly in Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, because of inadequate import plans and slow delivery rates.

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