Drier weather since the second half of February, following heavy rains in previous months, improved soil conditions for planting of the 1998 first season crops which is almost completed.
The output of the 1997 second season foodcrops, harvested until February, was lower than anticipated. Excessive rains during the season sharply reduced bean production and lowered yields of maize. However, production of roots, tubers and plantains, the countrys main staples, benefited from the abundant rains.
Prices of maize continued to decline in February and March reflecting the arrival of the new crop into the markets, as well as improvements in the movement of food following improved road conditions. Nevertheless, prices of beans remained at high levels as a result of reduced supplies.
Emergency food assistance continues to be distributed to some 400 000 displaced people in the northern Gulu and Kitgum Districts affected by civil conflict and to 56 000 people affected by food insecurity in north-eastern parts.