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Cereal production in Botswana is estimated at an extremely low level of 8,000 tonnes in 2019, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a statement.
The principal factor for the significant decrease is the severe seasonal rainfall deficits that adversely affected the harvested area and yields of the 2019 summer crops, which account for the bulk of the national cereal output.
“The dry conditions had a negative impact on the livestock sector and caused a significant decrease in the availability and quality of grasslands, causing a worsening on livestock body conditions and increasing mortality rates,” FAO said.
Botswana is a net importer of cereals with more than 90 percent of the domestic cereal requirements normally satisfied by imports.
At least 30,000 people were last year left vulnerable to the impacts of climate change-induced drought that affected the southern African country between 2014 and 2017 and the number is expected to increase this year, said Lawrence Ookeditse, a local economist and lecturer at the University of Botswana.