SWAZILAND - Land preparation and planting of cereal crops, to be harvested from April/May 2015, is underway.
Weather forecasts point to normal to above-normal rains between October 2014 and March 2015, favouring a generally positive start to crop production, reports FAO.
A bumper maize crop was harvested in 2014
The 2014 maize output, harvested from in June 2014, estimated at about 100 000 tonnes, is 22 percent higher than the above-average harvest of 2013.
Favourable weather conditions encouraged increased plantings and the continued input support for small-holder farmers contributed to the production gains.
Reduced import requirements forecast in 2014/15
Reflecting the improved domestic output in 2014, import requirements of maize in the 2014/15 (May/April) marketing year are estimated at about 55 000 tonnes, about 9 000 tonnes lower than the volume imported in 2013/14.
Food security improves in 2014/15
According to the 2014 Vulnerability Assessment Committee (VAC) report, there were 223 249 food insecure people, about 23 percent less than the previous year, largely reflecting the improved domestic cereal production.
Despite this improvement, high levels of unemployment and the HIV/AIDS caseload continues to negatively affect food security.
TheCropSite News Desk