Poor agro-climatic conditions characterized by late onset of the rainy season and
below-average cumulative rainfall have undermined SwazilandвЂ™s cereal harvest for
the fourth consecutive year.
Maize production in 2003/04 is estimated at about 64 000 tonnes, 13 percent below
last year and about 30 percent below the average for the previous five years.
Cereal import requirement in the 2004/05 marketing year (April/March) is
estimated at about 132 000 tonnes, of which 100 000 tonnes are expected to be
With about 10 000 tonnes of food aid in stocks and in the pipeline as of April 2004,
the uncovered deficit, for which international assistance is needed, is estimated at
22 000 tonnes.
Early drought conditions caused some loss of livestock, but late rains improved
pastures and animal condition in most parts of the country. Livestock production is
expected to help offset, to some extent, the impact of crop failure.
The continuing spread of HIV/AIDS is further exacerbating the already severe
impact of adverse weather through high unemployment, income inequality and
A targeted approach for food aid is required, focused primarily on mitigating the
effect of HIV/AIDS, and on direct support to households with no access to
available food and agricultural inputs.
A total of 262 000 people will face food/income deficits of varying amounts, and
approximately 28 355 tonnes of food (or income equivalent) will be needed to meet
the deficit for the entire year.