Vulnerable households face food crisis

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Vulnerable households are expected to be hardest hit by the increased food insecurity in Botswana that will last until next year.

A report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says that from late 2013 until 2014, the Botswana food situation will remain precarious because of poor cereal production. The situation is compounded by the recent increase in cereal and bread prices by approximately seven percent in March. In its April report, FAO says that although domestic production covers less than 20 percent of the national consumption requirements, the poor production outlook in the subsistence sector is expected to lead to a deterioration of food insecurity conditions later this year.

"The national annual inflation rate remained comparatively stable between the last quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, averaging at about 7.4 percent over the six months. Similarly, the food component of the Consumer Price Index exhibited steady year-on-year increases over the same period," it says.As a result, increased cereal imports were registered in the 2012/13 marketing year. Maize imports for the period under review reached nearly 200,000 tonnes, about 16 percent above the 172,000 tonnes imported in the previous marketing year. In 2013/14, cereal import requirements are estimated at a similar level like last year, given the successive poor cereal harvest.

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