World Grain - August 2018 - 34


the total grains production of sub-Saharan Africa will
be 118.6 million tonnes in 2018-19, down from 121.9
million the year before. It highlights Ethiopia, where
production will rise to 19.6 million tonnes from 19
million the year before, Nigeria, with production up to
19.4 million tonnes from 19.1 million, South Africa,
where production is set to fall to 14.6 million tonnes
from 15.4 million, and Tanzania, where production is
seen rising to 6.9 million tonnes from 6.6 million.
According to an attaché report published in March,
factors in Ethiopia's strong production include continued investment in improved seeds, fertilizers,
and mechanization.
"It should be noted that while there are areas with
grain surpluses, the country as a whole does not have
enough grain as evidenced by imports of wheat and
sorghum for food aid and the bread subsidy," the attaché report on Ethiopia said.
South African farmers are cutting area, according to an
attaché report from that country.


"The declining trend in hectares planted with wheat
in South Africa will continue," in 2018-19, the attaché
report said, while "commercial corn producers will cut
area by 10% to 2.1 million hectares."
Wheat plays a relatively small part in sub-Saharan
Africa's grains production, with the region's crop forecast by the IGC to be 7.6 million tonnes in 2018-19,
compared to 7.3 million the year before. Ethiopia with
an unchanged crop of 4.5 million tonnes and South
Africa with a 2018-19 crop of 1.8 million, up from 1.5
million, are the main producers.
"For more than a decade, Ethiopia's wheat production has shown steady growth, increasing more than
50% since MY08-09," the attaché said. "With little
change to area harvested, most of this growth is attributed to better yields resulting from expanded access
to improved seed, mechanization, minimal pest and
disease pressure, as well as the opening of commercial farms.
"These yield-improving investments were largely
made possible because farmers were able to make a
little extra from the strong local wheat prices."

August 2018 / World Grain /

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