Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Lesotho Facing Possible Food Crisis

40 per cent of Lesotho's people live in extreme poverty and 82 per cent are engaged, if not reliant, on some form of agriculture. So two bad seasons has had a severe impact on food security. 2010-2011 saw flooding and heavy rains, 2011-2012 a drought. According to crop forecasts:
... the overall area planted in the 2011-2012 agricultural year decreased by nearly 40 percent from the previous year and the total expected production of maize, the staple crop, fell by 77 percent. Yields of sorghum and wheat have also declined significantly. 
Lesotho has seen increasing urbanisation in recent years as poor farming practises and erosion reduce the return on small-scale farming. Lesotho also has an extremely high dependency ration, with some estimates suggesting that one out of four children in the country is an orphan. A serious food crisis will place extreme stress on already vulnerable households.

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