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Botswana: Botswana Agriculture Profile


Udzungwa National Park’s Sanje Waterfall

Favourable rains forecast for 2014/15 cropping season

Planting of the 2015 cereal crops, to be harvested from May, is underway and is expected to be finalized in January. Following sporadic and below-normal rains in October, which normally marks the start of the rainy season (October-March), precipitation levels increased in November and the start of December, benefiting early crop establishment. Rainfall forecasts point to overall favourable conditions between December and March, indicating a generally positive outlook for the cereal 2015 output. Continued support from the Government through the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development (ISPAAD) is expected to improve input access for farmers, covering both cereal and horticulture crops, and help increase the land under irrigation.

Bumper crop estimated in 2014

Despite poor rains at the start of the 2013/14 season, weather conditions improved significantly from December onwards, contributing to a bumper cereal output, estimated at 74 000 tonnes, approximately 64 percent higher than 2013’s below-average output. A substantial relative increase was estimated for maize, while good outputs for sorghum and millet were registered.

Food prices remain stable in 2014

The food price component of the consumer price index has remained stable in 2014 and was only marginally higher than its year earlier level in November.

Improved food security situation

The large 2014 cereal harvest helped improve food security conditions, with an estimated 1 500 people assessed to be food insecure, according to the results of the national 2014/15 vulnerability assessment committee report. This is a significant reduction compared to the 372 000 persons estimated to be at risk of food insecurity in 2013/14, following the drought reduced 2013 harvest.