The World Food Programme (WFP) has predicted an acute food shortage in South Africa in a couple of months due to a severe drought in the 'maize belt' of South Africa, where a lack of rain had caused crop failure rates of over 50 per cent, NaijaAgroNet reports.WFP’s Food and Nutrition Security Working Group’s April assessment states, "The rains experienced in late March and early April provided some relief to livestock farmers but arrived too late for both staple food and cash crops."
Last month's outbreak of anti-foreigner riots in South Africa, in which at least seven were killed and thousands more forced to flee, NaijaAgroNet gathered, might also lead to a drop in remittance flows from Africa's most advanced economy, adding to the problems of nearby countries, the WFP said.
The WFP said maize production was estimated to have dropped by a third compared with last year, putting it on track for a harvest of 9.665 million tonnes, its worst in eight years,
Besides South Africa, which produces more than 40 per cent of regional maize, NaijaAgroNet learnt, the drought was also likely to hit harvests in southern Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi and Madagascar, the U.N. agency said in a report.
The problems in landlocked and impoverished Malawi were compounded by heavy rains and flooding in early January which destroyed crops and roads, it added.
.Cyriacus Nnaji/ GEE
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