WANDILE SIHLOBO: Rainfall outlook spells good news for Southern African crop production
Above-normal rainfall will benefit not only summer crop farmers but also livestock farmers and agribusinesses
This has not been a good year for southern Africa’s agricultural economy. The drought that started in October 2018 in some countries in the region and continued into 2019 has led to a double-digit decline in crop harvests. Take Kenya, SA, Zimbabwe and Zambia: maize production in the 2018/2019 production season fell year on year by 20%, 12%, 53% and 16% respectively, according to the latest estimates from the International Grains Council.
But there is cause for hope for southern Africa’s 2020 agricultural performance. The news out of Luanda (Angola), where the 23rd Southern African Regional Climate Forum convened a meeting with Southern African Development Community meteorologists, points to a potential improvement in rainfall in the 2019/2020 production season.