Seasonably dry conditions prevail. Planting will start in a few weeks with the onset of the rains. Seed availability problems are likely, following the 1997 below average harvest in some areas.
Due to a long dry spell in July/August 1997, the 1997 aggregate cereal output was well below the 1996 output and substantially below average. In late April, the Government launched an appeal for international assistance amounting to 9 325 tonnes of cereals.