Maize harvest for 2019/20 expected to be lower than 2018/19 in East Africa


Nairobi, Kenya – The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) says it expects the maize harvest for the 2019/20 will be lower than that of 2018/19.

FEWSNET noted this in a report published today Friday summarizing the supply and market outlook for maize in Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi for the 2019/20 marketing year (MY), spanning from July 2019 to June 2020. This includes two main harvests, one spanning from May to August 2019 and another from October 2019 to February 2020.

According to FEWSNET, while the May-to-August production data reflect post-harvest estimates, the October-to-February data are early estimates and may be updated as post-harvest estimates are available.

“Preliminary estimates suggest that 2019/20 production in the structurally-surplus countries of Tanzania and Uganda was lower than 2018/19. While production in Tanzania was similar to average, Uganda’s production was nine percent below average. Harvests in import-dependent Kenya and Somalia are lower than 2018/19, with Somalia’s production significantly lower than average. Production in Burundi is above average. Production is average elsewhere in the region,” the report notes.

FEWSNET is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 28 countries.

The reports says that maize, wheat, rice and, and sorghum are important staple foods in East Africa. Domestic maize production contributes over 50 percent of national grain supply in Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Maize contributes to relatively less in Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan, ranging from nine to 33 percent.

“Tanzania and Ethiopia are expected to have above-average exportable maize surpluses, while Uganda will have a below average surplus. Kenya and South Sudan will have above average import gaps that will be filled through imports from regional markets. Maize prices are expected to remain above average region wide. This will constrain export opportunities to central and southern Africa (e.g. the DRC and Malawi). The region will continue to import wheat and rice from well supplied international markets,” reads the report

The report concludes that the regional maize market is expected to be tight and prices will remain high. Market-based response activities involving maize and substitute commodities should consider the projected market and trade dynamics presented in this report.




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