Seasonably dry conditions prevail. Aggregate 1997 cereal production is estimated at 1.77 million tonnes, which is close to normal but 2.5 percent lower than last year. Nevertheless, millet and maize production in the extreme north has been substantially lower than usual and some assistance is required to provide seeds and food supplies in these affected areas. The net cereal deficit in the Upper East Region, which was the most affected, is estimated at 14 000 tonnes of millet and maize. The roots and tubers production was slightly higher than average, close to 13 million tonnes. As a result of low water reserves in the north, dry season gardening, a source of pulses and vegetables, may be affected. An FAO/WFP Mission is underway in this region to assess the needs.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory following the harvest of the main crops, although it could deteriorate in the coming months due to reduced output in the north. Some Togolese refugees still remain in Ghana after large repatriations in 1996. About 30 000 Liberian refugees are also receiving food assistance. The 1998 cereal import requirement is estimated at 410 000 tonnes, mostly wheat and rice.