Parts of Southern Africa now faces major food shortage owing to the severe drought in this region. The maize belt in South Africa is bearing the brunt of the severe drought. According to World Food program (WFP) the lack of rain has caused crop failure rates of over 50 percent.
The South African maize production has dropped by a third as compared to last year, putting the harvest, at about 9.7 million tonnes, which is the worst harvest for a period of eight years. Besides South Africa that produces about 40 percent of the total maize in the region, the drought is likely to impact the produce in southern Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi and Madagascar. This drought may serve a hard blow to Malawi, which is already reeling under severe conditions caused by heavy rains and flooding during the early part of January that destroyed roads and crops.
Although there were rains during late March and early April which provided some relief to livestock farmers, they were too late for staple and cash crops. Zimbabwe is an area of major concern which is facing huge food shortage due to widespread crop failure. Countries in the region will have to supplement their domestic production with increased imports thus, driving up the cost of food and leading to inflation.
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