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Favourable Rains Predicted for Start of 2013/14 Cropping Season

15 November 2013

MOZAMBIQUE - Seasonal rains commenced in the second half of October in southern regions and some coastal areas, aiding land preparation and planting for the 2013/14 cropping season (October-June).

Weather forecasts indicate normal to above normal rains during most of the cropping season, with an increased chance of heavier precipitation in large producing northern provinces during the first quarter of 2014.

Cereal output in 2013 rises to above last year’s output

Production estimates for the main 2012/13 season’s cereal crops, harvested in June, point to a slight increase for maize, while sorghum is also estimated to be above the previous season’s level, at 188 000 tonnes. Generally good climatic conditions were recorded across most of the country, largely accounting for the production gains this year. However, flooding in the southern province of Gaza, resulted in the loss of about 153 000 hectares of crops (approximately 3 percent of the total planted areas at the national level), including maize, rice, beans and other vegetables. Some flood damage to crops was also recorded in the central Zambezi river basin.

Maize prices increasing, but remain more stable in the southern markets

Maize prices in the southern markets have shown slightly more stable trends in the past months compared with central and northern markets; however, prices are generally at higher levels than one year earlier. New supplies from the second season’s harvest and the appreciation of the metical against the South Africa Rand, combined with lower year-on-year grain prices in South Africa, which supplies a large quantity of maize to southern provinces, have helped temper price levels in the south.

In contrast prices in some northern markets have shown strong price gains in recent months, due to a tighter supply situation. In Nampula, for example, prices in October (about 36 percent above their levels of the previous year) exceeded prices in Maputo, in contrast to previous years when they are usually about half the level, following a 60 percent rise between July and September.

Food security situation generally stable

Overall, food security conditions are generally stable. In the southern Limpopo river basin (Gaza province), some households that suffered flood-induced production losses earlier in the year, were able to benefit from residual flood waters and expand plantings for the second season, helping to mitigate the impact of the production shortfalls. However, higher food prices continue to constrain food access.

TheCropSite News Desk

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