Overall View of the 2005/06 Season
The 2005/06 crop season has been better than average in most countries of the region. Rainfall, though generally late, persisted long enough to ensure that even late planted crops had sufficient moisture to complete their growth cycle. An exception to this general good picture was in southern Angola, in the provinces of Kwanza Sul, Benguela, Huila, Namibe and Cunene, where there was a long dry period in January/February which destroyed many crops of maize, sorghum, millet, groundnuts and beans. Rains were also lower than normal in South Eastern districts of Zimbabwe, especially Chiredzi.
Leaching of nitrogen by heavy rains in January and February left crops in a yellowed state and reduced yields considerably. Brown rust of maize was at an all-time high in Swaziland.