Millions have been affected by the droughts
The first authoritative report has been published indicating that the Southern African drought is coming to an end.
A report prepared for the region's ministers predicts that this year's crops will be 6% above last year's, when harvests were devastated and millions needed feeding.
Southern Africa's staple crops have still not been harvested, but the prospects are looking good.
This is in stark contrast to last year, when the crop was so low, in countries from Lesotho to Malawi, that vast quantities of grain had to be shipped in.
By March this year more than 10 million people were reliant on outside aid.
"We managed to avert a catastrophe," said a spokesman for the World Food Programme in Johannesburg, Richard Lee.
But even this year the outlook is patchy; the Zambian harvest should be up by over 50% but parts of southern Mozambique will face their third year of hardship.
In Zimbabwe the crop should be better than last year but so little land was planted because of farm evictions that the harvest will still be way below average.
Despite these reservations there is no doubt that the future is looking considerably brighter across much of southern Africa.