FAO GLOBAL INFORMATION AND EARLY WARNING SYSTEM ON FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME
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Mission Highlights

  • Despite failure of the secondary season (belg) rains and late start of the main (meher) rains, the meher crop has recovered strongly from earlier expectations due to abundant rainfall which continued through October, benefiting late sown crops.
  • Cereal and pulse production from the meher season is forecast at about 12.6 million tonnes, 7 percent up on last year.
  • The availability of cereals in 2001 will be markedly improved, prices are expected to be low and cereal consumption will rise.
  • Cross border exports to drought affected neighbouring Sudan and Kenya are anticipated to increase due to strong import demand and high prices.
  • Cereal import requirement for 2001 is estimated at 970 000 tonnes, the greater part of which is expected to be covered by food aid.
  • Many people remain highly vulnerable to food insecurity and dependent on relief assistance due to several consecutive years of crop and livestock production failures. Between 6 and 7.5 million people affected by natural disaster, and an additional 350 000 IDPs and other war-affected persons, will require emergency food aid during 2001.
  • The food aid pipeline is not resourced beyond February 2001; with less than 40 percent of the cereal requirement for March being covered, new pledges are urgently required.
  • Donors are urged to procure a part of food aid needs locally to provide some strength in the market.

 

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1. OVERVIEW

An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission visited Ethiopia from 12 November to 13 December 2000 to estimate the production of the meher season cereal and pulse crops, forecast the 2001 belg season, assess food aid needs and identify broad classifications of beneficiaries and delivery mechanisms. This mission follows a particularly severe year with regard to food insecurity in Ethiopia, and the Horn in general, which necessitated a special regional humanitarian intervention, coordinated by the UN.

In November 2000, six teams comprising two international consultants and four national consultants from FAO plus counterpart specialists from the Ministry of Agriculture visited all but four zones in the country. WFP joined two of these teams. Over a longer period, 22 teams comprising members from Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC), WFP and other UN agencies, bilateral donor agencies and NGOs visited all regions, concentrating on the more vulnerable zones and woredas to determine the current and prospective situation regarding household food security. These two complementary assessment exercises overlapped in the field wherever possible.

The crop assessment teams obtained data relating to area and yield collected by development agents and processed by Woreda (district) Agriculture Bureau (WAB) from each Zonal Agricultural Bureau (ZAB). These were cross-checked with the views of farmers, traders, NGOs project workers and donor representatives during 14 days of field visits. Crop inspections, spot check crop cuts, market surveys and livestock condition observations were conducted en route. In addition, the Mission teams were provided with remote sensed data regarding rainfall estimates, vegetation indices and interim reports, assessments and vulnerability maps. Thus, the teams were able to fine-tune initial MoA yield forecasts, taking into consideration a wider information base and recent events. Such estimates remain pre-harvest forecasts and should not be confused with statistically correct assessment exercises. Area estimates remain in all but one or two cases in their original form.

The food security assessment teams collected food security data at regional, zonal and woreda levels. A standardised questionnaire was used for semi-structured interviews at household and woreda levels. The information obtained was checked against crop and livestock production data and compared with income and food deficits in a typical year, taking into account known changes in non-agricultural income sources.

Despite very poor belg rains and a late start to the meher in all regions except Amhara, a favourable rainfall pattern emerged as the meher season progressed, encouraging crop establishment, supporting growth and grain formation in all major production zones. Consequently, planting expanded in such zones. Maize and sorghum crops replaced around 5 percent of teff and pulse areas and were planted in fields left fallow last year. Wheat and barley areas are noted to have been maintained at similar levels to last year.

Consequently, the Mission forecasts a meher harvest of 11.61 million tonnes of cereals and 0.99 million tonnes of pulses which is due to an increase in area of 3.8 percent over last year and better average yields of all cereals, especially maize and wheat. This year's national average cereal yield of 1.18 tonnes per hectare is slightly higher than the 1.14 tonnes per hectare recorded in 1996, a good year. The combination of higher area and yield provides a cereal production increase of 7.3 percent on last year's post-harvest assessment conducted in early 2000. Pulse production has fallen by 4 percent due predominantly to a similar drop in area of 3.6 percent when compared with 1999 Mission estimates.

Away from the main production zones, rainfall patterns were less regular, and mid-season dry-spells up to three months were noted. Only late rains from the end of September until December allowed farmers in such areas to partially recoup their situation. While rains late in the season elsewhere may have caused lodging and seed drop, their overall advantages are felt to outweigh such disadvantages, particularly as they have been manifested as showers interspersed with sunny spells that have allowed harvesting to be conducted in a timely fashion.

Extensive livestock production throughout the country was devastated earlier in the year due to a prolonged drought in the pastoralist areas, leading to acute water and fodder shortages exacerbated later by the effects of infectious diseases and parasites. The southern pastoralist areas of Somali, Borena, Bale and South Omo were worst hit and cattle losses at average levels of 50 percent have been noted. Consequently animal production among pastoralists and agro-pastoralists is minimal this year and will take several years to recover. Fortunately, the late meher rains have helped considerably in regenerating pasture and browse and recharging water points. The body condition of the remaining stock is good which bodes well for next year but does not solve the current problems of lack of milk and lack of herd/flock replacements. Animals in belg-dependant zones and woredas in the settled farming areas also suffered and draught animal numbers are reported to be lower than required, affecting area planted and quality of land preparation at kabelle/woreda level.

Regarding other crops, while enset, the staple for at least 8 million people, is noted to be in good condition, mid-season rain failure reduced sweet potato crop and severed the planting material availability cycle, thus reducing the availability in the coming season. More serious is the effect of lack of rain on coffee production. Belg rain failure coincided with the development of the inflorescence which is noted by the Coffee Marketing Agency to have reduced production by 20-60 percent in all coffee growing areas. This will have a serious effect on both household and regional/state economies in the producing areas.

The prices of most cereals are now falling, particularly for maize which has reached 64 Birr per 100 kg (about US$80 per tonne) in October/November in some of the surplus areas of the west compared to 142 Birr in August/October. Sorghum is still expensive as the harvest has hardly started, and wheat prices are coming down in anticipation of good production. Teff is maintaining its premium but prices are generally easing down. In the east and other deficit areas, prices are higher due to transport costs from surplus areas and local shortages. By early December 2000, stocks of cereals were being replenished which partly explains the easing of prices. Cereal prices in neighbouring Sudan and Kenya were generally significantly higher suggesting the prospect of transborder flows from Ethiopia.

The good crop described above masks the existence of food deficient communities which extends throughout the country due to drought, displacement, structural inadequacies and lack of access/entitlement to food supplies. It will take several years for the poorest pastoralists to regain a minimum income from livestock sales to meet basic food needs. In addition, crop-dependent populations affected by four years of cumulative drought and crop failure have depleted their assets and have not regained self-sufficiency.

Preliminary findings from the food security assessment exercise indicate that under the best agricultural conditions for the year 2001 at least six million people will require relief assistance and that with average conditions at least 6.5 million people will require food aid. In the case that there were another serious drought, the recovery which is just beginning would be reversed and numbers could greatly increase. It has been assumed by the mission that at least half the number of belg-dependent food aid beneficiaries, and about 85 percent of pastoralist beneficiaries, who receive food in the first half of the year will continue to require food aid in the second half. This contingency provision will be reviewed by a needs assessment exercise, in conjunction with the 2001 belg pre-harvest assessment, and a similar re-assessment of needs among pastoralists would be needed in mid-2001.

It is noted that the emergency food aid pipeline for drought/natural disasters was not resourced beyond February 2001, with a risk of breaks in distribution, or under-distribution. The mission urges donors with loans from the Government's Emergency Food Security Reserve (EFSR) to replenish the reserve in a timely manner, so as to avoid the low stock position which contributed to the low levels of distribution in early 2000. New pledges against 2001 emergency requirements for victims of natural disaster are very urgently needed.

On the basis of the current meher production estimate and a forecast belg harvest in 2001 of 170 000 tonnes of cereals and pulses, the Mission estimates a total grain import requirement of 970 000 tonnes in 2001, a large part to be covered by food aid. This assumes 160 kg per caput consumption levels, about 6 percent higher compared to last year, to allow for nutritional recovery of the large drought affected population. In addition, with increased grain supplies and lower prices, consumption is anticipated to increase. Lower prices will stimulate greater consumption from the food market while in subsistence households, greater availability will lead to more cereal consumption. Also, pastoralists who suffered large livestock losses will rely heavily on cereals and cereal based products.

Total emergency food aid requirements for 2001 are forecast at about 870 000 tonnes of cereals and 70 000 tonnes of other commodities, based on the mid-case (most likely) scenario of 6.5 million people affected by natural disaster and an additional 350 000 people affected by the border war with Eritrea. The requirements also include an additional one-month's supply of food aid for natural disaster emergency interventions at projected 2001 levels, to build up working stocks, thus avoiding a repetition of a potential break in supplies currently being faced.

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2. SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONTEXT

2.1 Macro-economic situation1

Ethiopia is endowed with diverse agro-ecological terrain and climate ranging from temperate in the highlands to tropical in the lowlands. Because of this, a variety of crops can be grown in the country. Much of the land area, however, is mountainous. The mountain range and the rift valley run north-south through the centre of the country. Ethiopia with its 65 million inhabitants with an average per capita income of $100 is one of the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Skewed distribution of income leaves about 60 percent of the population below the poverty line. On the Human Development Index (HDI) of UNDP, Ethiopia ranks nearly at the bottom, 171st out of 174 countries, just above Burkina Faso, Niger and Sierra Leone. According to an FAO estimate, about 51 percent of the population is undernourished and over two million people are considered to be chronically food insecure.

Ethiopia's economy during the military regime and the civil war period experienced substantial and prolonged decline. The average annual growth rate during the 1970s and 1980s remained well below 2 percent while the population grew at the rate of 3 percent. Since the launch of the economic recovery programme in 1992, economic growth has averaged an impressive 6.5 percent while inflation was kept under 4 percent over the 1993 to 1998 period. Much of the recovery is credited to improved economic management, currency and trade liberalization and grain and agricultural input marketing liberalization undertaken as part of the reform programme. Economic progress during the most recent years, however, has stalled (growth rate of -0.5 percent in 1998 and 0 percent in 1999) mainly due to the multiyear drought, war with Eritrea and increased burden of AIDS in the country.

Agriculture, as is the case in much of the developing world, is still the largest sector in the Ethiopian economy contributing about 45 to 50 percent of GDP and providing employment to nearly 80 percent of the country's population. Thus, growth of agricultural sector is vital to the national economic development and well being of the population.

Agricultural exports play an important role in the national economy as they earn a major share of the foreign exchange. In 1999, agricultural exports accounted for about 89 percent of the total export earnings ($447 million), of which coffee (60 percent), chat (14 percent) and oil seeds (7 percent) were the leading export crops. Commercial agricultural imports, excluding food aid, are a very small part of the large total imports ($1 394 million in 1999). Agricultural trade is thus important to the country since typically there is a trade surplus for agricultural commodities (about $270 million in 1999) when the overall trade deficit is fairly high (about $947 million in 1999).

Revised estimate of overall economic growth for 1999-2000 is 4.5 percent and the forecast for 2000-01 is 6.5 percent. This may be feasible because the defence spending has declined compared to the last two years, and the agricultural sector performance is expected to be much better than last year.

2.2 Population

The total population of Ethiopia, according to its Central Statistical Authority (CSA) as of July 1, 2000 was 63.495 million and the average annual growth rate for the previous two years was 2.97 percent. The rural population is about 85 percent of the total. Thus, the population as of mid-2001 can be extrapolated to an estimate of 65.382 million. This estimate has been used by the Mission to calculate the total food requirement.

2.3 Performance of the agricultural sector

Cropping pattern. The main crops grown in the semi-temperate climate of the middlelands in Ethiopia are teff, wheat, barley, maize, sorghum, enset, roots and tubers, noug (oil seed crop) and various pulses. More barley and enset are grown in the highlands, while more sorghum, maize and sesame are grown in the lowlands. Coffee is the main cash and export crop grown mostly in the southern, western and eastern areas of the central part of the country. Other cash crops (e.g. chat) are grown in the east and the south while eucalyptus is found throughout the middle altitudes and in highlands of the country. Typically, livestock is raised in lowlands in pastoral and agro-pastoral systems for commercial and livelihood purposes. Livestock is integrated in the farming system of the middle altitude and highland areas.

Long term performance. Per capita agricultural production (index) in Ethiopia, as seen from Figure 1, has steadily declined over the last three decades. Between 1971 and 2000 a simple average of year-on-year growth has been -1.15 percent. The average growth rates are estimated at -0.84, -1.98 and -0.64 percent during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, respectively. By contrast, other developing countries in Africa, as a group, have registered a slightly positive average annual growth rate in per capita agricultural production during the 1990s. Total grain production (cereals and pulses) did climb up in 1996 and again in 1997 reaching an all time high of 11.8 million tonnes. However, since then it has not kept up with the population growth.

Main constraints to production. Much of the year to year fluctuation in production around the trend line in Figure 1 is explained by rainfall, but other factors are also involved in the overall decline in performance. One of the main constraints to enhancing productivity on the peasant farms is the size of holding. Typically, farms are small, often less than a hectare in size, and therefore not conducive to even small scale mechanization. Whereever the former State farms have been converted into private commercial farms, the yields have increased two to three times the yields obtained on peasant farms. Development and adoption of appropriate and affordable technology is essential for long-term productivity improvement. Much of the central highlands of Ethiopia are relatively flat and are already mechanized through the services of contractors which improves the timeliness and quality of most farming practices.

Another key factor in productivity improvement is irrigation. Development of small scale irrigation facilities such as conservation and percolation dams and water catchment areas are visible evidence of improved agriculture. These types of watershed management projects are very effective as they help rehabilitate the upstream hilly area environment, reduce soil erosion, and provide water for animals and for irrigating crops.

Another constraint to improving agricultural production, through either irrigation or other modern methods, is transportation. When proper and inexpensive mode of transportation is not available, farmers would rather produce in small quantities and sell by the road side than produce in large quantities and not be able to transport and sell in the central markets. A major effort on the road and other physical infrastructure is under way which will help improve agricultural productivity in the long run.

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3. FOOD PRODUCTION IN 2000

3.1 Area planted

Nationally, the area planted to cereals and pulses, at 11. 3 million hectares, has increased by 3.8 percent or 417 000 hectares over the 1999 Mission assessment. This increase is connected to an expansion of planting in Amhara, Oromiya, Tigray and the SNNPR. Such increases were variously prompted by good early meher rains in Amhara; expanded meher planting in zones where the belg had failed and opportunistic planting to benefit from the rains of late September to December in SNNPR; the cessation of hostilities in the Ethiopia-Eritrea border areas, reopening areas for investors and returning displacees in Tigray; and the planting of wheat areas fallowed last year in Oromiya.

Within this context, regarding short-cycle crops, teff area dropped by 5 percent, whereas barley and wheat areas remained constant. All three crops now cover 10 percent more land than was sown to short-cycle cereals in 1996, suggesting an expansion of farming in the middle altitude and highlands to match population increases at the expenses of grazing, forest and park land.

Maize planting increased over 1999 by 6 percent and sorghum by 20 percent, effectively counterbalancing the reduction in area planted to long cycle crops noted last year.

These overall increases mask declines in certain woredas, where reduction in oxen numbers and strength decreased cultivating potential at a time when planting opportunities were cut back due to late starting and erratic rains.

3.2 Rainfall

The widespread failure of the belg rains has been well-documented and elicited an emergency response from the Government and donors earlier in the year. In most regions, the subsequent late onset of meher rains exacerbated concerns. Amhara was an exception where the meher rains were early in most zones prompting optimistic planting responses from the farming communities. Fortunately, in the main farming areas of Oromiya, the late start to meher was followed by rainfall with a good even distribution which encouraged the expansion of planting and supported good crop establishment and growth.

Elsewhere, the picture was more fragmented and although the highlands were for the most part rain secure, breaks in the rains of up to 3 months in June, July and August were noted in many lower-middle altitude areas in the SNNPR and in the eastern zones of Oromiya. In many of the zones where such dry spells occurred, the final period of rainfall has been extended to the beginning of December, providing good growing conditions for crops sown with the arrival of the rains in late September.

While it is understood that some crops may have been damaged by these late rains that occurred across the country through lodging and seed drop, the advantages brought would certainly seem to outweigh disadvantages, particularly as the rains have come in showers rather than continuous downpours, thereby allowing crops to dry out and to be harvested.

Apart from the well known drought-induced decline in pastoralism/agropastoralism, the most serious deleterious effect of the rain this year is connected to coffee production. Failure of rains in February and March and intense rains in April were reported to have disturbed the formation and development of the inflorescence, resulting in low levels of fruiting. This, coupled with endemic coffee berry disease, is reported to have reduced this year's coffee crop by around 50 percent.

3.3 Yields

This year, yield averages in the peasant sector range from 200 kg/hectare to 1 800 kg/hectare2 according to location and crops. Such yields are estimated by the Mission taking into account all types of losses in a zone-by-zone, crop-by-crop basis up to, and including, the Mission field visits. They have been calculated from estimates provided to the Mission by Zonal Agricultural Bureaux specialists, triangulated with historical data, key-informant information and field observations, taking into consideration the elements noted above, viz. predominant seed type, extent and timing of fertilizer use, husbandry practices and weed, pest and disease challenges.

This year, as in any other, about 90 percent of the seeds used were local seeds carried over by the farmers from last year's harvest. These include local landraces and stabilized releases from the 1970s-80s according to crop. No shortages of such seeds were noted, and their local purchase price was stable for each zone. Widespread replanting was not reported as being a problem this year, therefore in all zones cereal and pulse seed availability was not a constraint.

Hybrid seeds, although available are seen as being outside the economic reach of peasant farmers who preferred, when looking for improved seeds, to buy farmer-multiplied, open-pollinated varieties at a much lower cost. A serious implication of the dominance of home-grown and farmer produced seed is that no seed dressing is undertaken, leaving the seeds vulnerable to soil pests and seed-borne disease such as sorghum smut.

National fertilizer use only increased this year by 7 000 tonnes, with actual consumption being around 60 percent of planned use at 290 000 tonnes. The pattern of use of DAP and urea, the two types used, changed significantly between regions. In Amhara and Oromiya, the amount used increased by 12 percent and 6 percent to 82 000 tonnes and 139 000 tonnes, while in Tigray and SNNPR use fell by 6 percent and 33 percent to 12 000 tonnes and 32 000 tonnes respectively.

The declines in use were noted to be due to high prices, limited access, delays in delivery, bad debts precluding credit and zonal agricultural offices advising against use of fertilizers in marginal/low rainfall areas where the rains were erratic. Given the de facto redistribution of fertilizer to the more productive zones its effect may have been greater this year, particularly as its application may have been more timely due to its ready availability at sowing time (DAP) in the Oromiya and Amhara high production zones.

Regarding pests and diseases, the only migratory pest noted was Quelea quelea whose nesting sites were sprayed in the few southern and eastern zone locations where they were a problem. Successful control was reported and crop losses were not considered to be significant.

Among the non-migratory pests of more significance this year were sorghum chafers in east Amhara and Oromiya zones bordering Afar region. Here infestations were noted to be high and local practices involving baited traps and using residues from brewing, are noted to have been an effective method of control. Other non-migratory pests reported as being present but within tolerance limits under the prevailing economic conditions were stalk borers, termites, boll worm, weevils (in stores and field crops) and vertebrate pests such as birds, warthogs, baboons and monkeys.

Weed competition was fierce as the long meher season, in most production zones, enhanced weed as well as crop growth. Where initial cultivation practices were reduced, increased weeding frequency was required, usually conducted by the family unit. In SNNPR, Oromiya, Amhara and Tigray, the use of 2-4D herbicide was reported, but on a national scale the practice is not significant and hand weeding prevails. Congress weed was seen as being of particular concern in many Amhara, Oromiya and SNNPR zones. It is clearly spreading and demands more labour to remove it from the field. Striga was a cause of farmer concern in low-fertile continuous sorghum growing areas of Tigray. Couch grass and wild oats are noted as present throughout the country. Hand rougueing of wild oats is not considered a priority by the peasant farmers.

As a result of the foregoing, average yields for the main cereals are estimated to be higher this year than in 1999, at 1.7 tonnes/hectare for maize, 1.07 tonnes/hectare for sorghum, 1.47 tonnes/hectare for wheat and 1.1 tonnes/hectare for barley. Teff yields are also sustained at 0.78 tonnes/hectare. These figures result in an average cereal yield of 1.18 tonnes/hectare, slightly higher than the 1.14 tonnes/hectare reported in 1996 following ZAB post-harvest estimates of meher crop.

3.4 Cereal and pulse production forecast

The Mission estimates in Table 1 show a national cereal and pulse meher harvest of 11.61 million tonnes and 0.99 million tonnes respectively, compared to a ZAB post-harvest production of 10.71 million tonnes and 1.04 million tonnes in 1999. Regional comparisons by crops for the past 3 years are given in Table 2.

Contributions from the two main cereal and pulse producing Regions, Amhara and Oromiya, amount to 80 percent of the total grains harvest compared to 82 percent last year. Eight zones within the two Regions, North Gondar, West Gojam, East Gojam, North Shoa (Amhara) and East Shoa, Arsi, West Shoa and West Wollega (Oromiya) are estimated to have produced 63 percent of that contribution this year. Total production from the two Regions connects to a rural population of 62 percent of the national total, plus the presence of commercial farms contributing some 1.5 percent of the cereals and grains. Surpluses from these two regions form the core of Ethiopia's grain trade, will be augmented by some more surplus in many other zones this year.

Regarding contributions by crop, this year teff production remains the same as last year. Wheat and barley have gone up by 11 percent whereas maize and sorghum have increased by 25 percent and 50 percent respectively over last year's poor performance when planted areas were the lowest for four years and yields were down due to poor rains.

Table 1. Ethiopia: Area ('000 ha), Production ('000 tonnes) and Yield (tonnes/ha) of Cereals and Pulses in 2000/01 Meher Season

Region/Crop
Item
Teff
Wheat
Barley
Maize
Sorghum
Millet
Oats
Rice
Total
Cereals
Total
Pulses
Cereals
& Pulses
TIGRAY
Area
201.9
81.4
165.5
68.9
279.3
107.0
0.1
 
904.0
49.8
953.8
 
Yield
4.74
0.79
0.62
1.10
1.11
0.62
0.32
 
7.90
0.47
0.77
 
Production
95.6
64.6
102.3
75.8
309.1
66.7
0.0
 
714.1
23.3
737.5
AFAR
Area
2.1
0.1
 
6.9
1.9
     
11.1
1.3
12.3
 
Yield
0.30
0.40
 
1.00
0.59
     
0.79
0.49
0.76
 
Production
0.6
0.0
 
6.9
1.1
     
8.7
0.6
9.4
AMHARA
Area
1 053.9
496.3
530.4
403.4
560.0
243.2
21.8
4.6
3313.7
654.4
3 968.1
 
Yield
0.83
1.20
1.01
1.82
1.12
1.19
0.95
2.98
1.11
0.66
1.04
 
Production
875.8
596.0
537.6
732.4
628.8
288.3
20.9
13.7
3693.5
431.6
4 125.1
OROMIA
Area
1 102.5
885.5
584.6
908.6
631.0
81.7
21.4
0.0
4259.8
586.3
4 846.1
 
Yield
0.82
1.70
1.34
1.76
1.06
0.87
0.00
1.00
1.32
0.69
1.24
 
Production
904.3
1501.3
786.0
1598.5
669.8
71.2
0.0
0.0
5621.6
407.3
6 028.9
SOMALI
Area
 
9.1
16.2
37.1
44.0
     
106.3
3.1
109.4
 
Yield
 
0.59
0.77
0.51
0.73
     
0.65
0.41
0.64
 
Production
 
5.4
12.4
19.0
32.2
     
69.0
1.3
70.2
BENSHANGUL
Area
20.5
3.1
2.0
36.2
52.0
24.7
   
138.5
12.0
150.5
 
Yield
0.55
0.95
0.90
1.90
1.02
0.30
   
1.05
0.51
1.01
 
Production
11.3
2.9
1.8
68.8
53.0
7.4
   
145.3
6.2
151.4
SNNPR
Area
215.0
195.8
152.8
355.8
103.8
7.8
0.4
 
1031.3
185.8
1 217.2
 
Yield
0.64
1.44
1.13
1.73
1.04
1.03
0.79
 
1.28
0.68
1.19
 
Production
136.9
282.6
173.3
615.3
108.2
8.0
0.3
 
1324.7
127.1
1 451.8
GAMBELLA
Area
     
10.5
4.7
0.2
 
0.0
15.4
1.0
16.4
 
Yield
     
1.12
1.07
1.35
 
1.00
1.11
0.90
1.09
 
Production
     
11.8
5.0
0.3
 
0.0
17.1
0.9
18.0
HARARI
Area
 
0.6
 
2.1
6.4
     
9.2
 
9.2
 
Yield
 
0.80
 
0.23
0.63
     
0.55
 
0.55
 
Production
 
0.5
 
0.5
4.0
     
5.0
 
5.0
ADDIS ABABA
Area
4.6
3.1
0.3
0.0
0.0
     
8.0
2.0
10.1
 
Yield
0.85
1.50
0.85
2.00
1.20
     
1.11
0.77
1.04
 
Production
3.9
4.7
0.2
0.0
0.1
     
8.9
1.6
10.4
DIRE DAWA
Area
     
0.5
9.2
     
9.7
 
9.7
 
Yield
     
0.65
0.60
     
0.60
 
0.60
 
Production
     
0.3
5.5
     
5.8
 
5.8
TOTAL
Area
2 600
1 675
1 452
1 830
1 692
465
43.7
4.6
9 807.0
1 495.8
11 302.8
 
Yield
0.78
1.47
1.11
1.71
1.07
0.95
0.5
3.0
1.18
7.1
11.22
 
Production
2 028
2 458
1 614
3 129
1 817
442
21.2
13.7
11 613.7
999.9
12 613.6


Table 2. Ethiopia: Cereals and Pulses Production: Comparison of 1996/97 to 2000/01 Meher Season

REGION
 
Cereals
Pulses
Cereals & Pulses
   
Area
( '000 ha)
Production
( '000 tonnes)
Area
('000 ha)
Production
( '000 tonnes)
Area
('000 ha)
Production
( '000 tonnes)
Tigray
1996/97
840.0
638.1
70.2
36.3
910.2
674.4
 
1997/98
889.1
505.2
56.5
17.7
945.6
522.9
 
1998/99
907.1
774.5
53.8
26.9
960.9
801.4
 
1999/00
830.0
606.8
49.1
25.6
879.1
632.4
 
2000/01
904.0
714.1
49.8
23.3
953.8
737.5
Afar
1996/97
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
 
1997/98
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
 
1998/99
19.3
7.7
 0.9
 0.1
20.1
7.8
 
1999/00
10.6
8.4
1.3
0.6
11.9
9.0
 
2000/01
11.1
8.7
1.3
0.6
12.3
9.4
Amhara
1996/97
3 192.2
3 412.8
645.2
430.6
3 837.3
3 843.3
 
1997/98
3 216.5
2 503.1
692.4
325.7
3 908.9
2 828.8
 
1998/99
3 354.3
3 567.9
692.0
464.2
4 046.3
4 032.1
 
1999/00
3 247.8
3 603.7
668.9
476.2
3 916.7
4 079.9
 
2000/01
3 313.7
3 693.5
654.4
586.3
3 968.1
4 846.1
Oromia
1996/97
4 034.1
5 354.7
552.7
386.9
4 586.8
5 741.6
 
1997/98
4 001.0
3 846.9
582.6
266.8
4 583.6
4 113.6
 
1998/99
4 181.2
4 664.5
545.1
374.0
4 726.2
5 038.5
 
1999/00
3 931.8
4990.3
655.5
401.0
4 587.2
5 391.4
 
2000/01
4 259.8
5 621.6
586.3
407.3
4 846.1
6 028.9
Somali
1996/97
85.3
27.3
0.0
0.0
85.3
27.3
 
1997/98
82.4
17.8
0.0
0.0
82.4
17.8
 
1998/99
172.1
19.2
5.5
 0.4
177.5
19.6
 
1999/00
75.7
45.1
1.2
0.6
76.9
45.6
 
2000/01
106.3
69.0
3.1
1.3
109.4
70.2
Benshangul Gumuz
1996/97
97.0
87.6
7.9
4.1
104.8
91.7
 
1997/98
124.5
110.2
6.8
3.6
131.3
113.8
 
1998/99
109.4
100.2
7.6
5.8
117.0
106.0
 
1999/00
104.2
131.0
9.9
6.8
151.1
137.8
 
2000/01
138.5
145.3
12.0
6.2
150.5
151.4
SNNPR
1996/97
1 154.0
1 277.4
198.6
137.3
1 352.6
1 414.6
 
1997/98
1 136.5
1 092.4
185.1
87.5
1 321.6
1 179.9
 
1998/99
1 026.1
1 231.1
181.8
123.0
1 207.9
1 354.1
 
1999/00
934.5
1 082.2
171.4
116.0
1 105.9
1 198.2
 
2000/01
1 031.3
1 324.7
185.8
127.1
1 217.2
1 451.8
Gambella
1996/97
8.7
10.9
0.0
0.0
8.7
10.9
 
1997/98
13.3
10.0
0.0
0.0
13.3
10.0
 
1998/99
11.8
9.2
0.0
0.0
11.8
9.2
 
1999/00
15.9
17.6
0.8
0.7
16.7
18.3
 
2000/01
15.4
17.1
1.0
0.9
16.4
18.0
Harari
1996/97
11.2
11.3
 0.3
 0.2
11.5
11.6
 
1997/98
11.9
12.4
 0.3
 0.2
12.2
12.6
 
1998/99
8.8
8.0
0.0
0.0
8.8
8.0
 
1999/00
10.5
21.9
0.0
0.0
10.5
21.9
 
2000/01
9.2
5.0
0.0
0.0
9.2
5.0
Addis Ababa
1996/97
8.8
10.9
2.1
1.6
11.0
12.6
 
1997/98
7.3
5.6
2.0
 0.5
9.3
6.1
 
1998/99
7.5
6.7
1.8
1.1
9.3
7.8
 
1999/00
7.4
9.7
1.8
1.7
9.2
11.5
 
2000/01
8.0
8.9
2.0
1.6
10.1
10.4
Dire Dawa
1996/97
11.2
11.1
0.0
0.0
11.2
11.1
 
1997/98
2.0
 0.8
0.0
0.0
2.0
 0.8
 
1998/99
9.5
9.6
0.0
0.0
9.5
9.6
 
1999/00
10.4
6.6
0.0
0.0
10.4
6.6
 
2000/01
9.7
5.8
0.0
0.0
9.7
5.8
Total
1996/97
9 442.5
10 842.2
1 477.0
996.9
10 919.4
11 839.1
 
1997/98
9 484.4
8 104.5
1 525.7
701.8
11 010.1
8 806.3
 
1998/99
9 807.0
10 398.6
1 488.4
995.5
11 295.3
11 394.1
 
1999/00
9 290.0
10 706.1
1 504.9
1 039.0
10 794.9
11 745.1
 
2000/01
9 807.0
11 613.7
1 495.8
999.9
11 302.8
12 613.6

3.5 Other crops

Crops contributing to household and national incomes vary from north to south and east to west. In the north the main contribution comes from oilseeds, particularly neuq and sesame. This year increased commercial planting of the latter in Tigray is noted.

In the central zones of the country, Irish potato cropping is expanding and a mixture of oilseeds are grown. However, it is in the southern zones from east to west that the greatest variety of other crops may be found.

Firstly, enset is now recognized, following a series of surveys in 1995, to be the main staple for some 8 million people and to contribute significantly to the diet of a further 3.3 million people in SNNPR and Oromiya Regions. This year the enset crop is considered to be performing well; incidents of bacteria wilt are lower than have been reported in the last few years and are not expected to have influenced consumption patterns or long-term in-field stocks.

Secondly, a variety of tuber/root crops supplement the diet in areas with belg rains and are increasingly grown in the meher season on household plots. These include Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams and taro. This year sweet potato cuttings were noted to be in short supply due to rain failure, severing the planting-harvesting-planting cycle in many areas. Nevertheless, sweet potato land preparation and planting was ongoing in such areas at the time of the Mission. Lack of tuber/root crops in mid-1999 is likely to have caused more grains to be consumed in the mixed staple food economy areas, pushing up prices and reducing domestic assets used for their purchase that will need to be restored.

Thirdly, coffee and chat are major cash crops in the zones under consideration. While the latter remains an unrecognized source of income and little is known of its performance, coffee is a commodity that is carefully studied by the Coffee Marketing Agency (CMA) as it is the single most important export crop. This year, a substantial reduction in the coffee crop is anticipated by the CMA due to the variable dry spells in most coffee growing zones from January to April. A drought-induced failure to flower and fruit is reported to have caused losses estimated to be in the order of 20-60 percent according to location. This will have serious implications on national import capacity and, at household level, income generation.

Coffee crops are also being affected by coffee berry disease (CBD) and while in Sidama and Gurage the ZABs have established public and farmer-run nurseries to replace indigenous trees with CBD resistant varieties, other zones have yet to address the problem to the same extent and the trees are still seriously affected.

No information is available on cotton or sugar crops, which are grown mostly under irrigation in agro-industrial enterprises. Under peasant farming conditions the former crop is used in the home or by village weavers. Sugar cane is sold through street dealers for direct consumption or is used within the household, being produced in small plots where significant amounts of water are available throughout the year.

3.6 Livestock

Due to consecutive failure of three belg rains and less than satisfactory meher rains in the pastoralist/agro-pastoralist livestock rearing areas, extensive livestock production systems have been severely affected by recurrent drought. It is estimated that the 3.4 million pastoralists in Ethiopia were faced with acute water shortages for people and stock, acute lack of fodder and high levels of mortality of breeding and sale stock.

In Afar, Oromiya, Somali, SNNPR, Benshagul and Gambella regions, the extent of the losses have been the subject of several surveys and further investigations including an aerial survey of grazing/browse areas is planned from the south where most of the pastoralists are located (south - Somali -53 percent; Borena and Bale zones of Oromiya -10 percent; SNNPR -7 percent; north Afar -29 percent; Benshangul and Gambella -1 percent).

Estimates of losses suggest that some 50 percent of cattle, 20-30 percent of sheep and goats and 10-15 percent of the camels have either died or have been slaughtered or sold at knock-down prices to buy grain under unfavourable terms of trade. By and large, the most severely affected areas are thought to be Somalia region, Borena zone (Oromiya) and South Omo zone (SNNPR). Emergency food aid programmes, the provision of water supplies and livestock support (vaccination and treatment) schemes have been initiated by a variety of agencies including the DPPC, WFP, SOS Sahel, GTZ, Coop I, SCF US/UK, CCM and others. During the Mission, key informants from such agencies were interviewed by two livestock specialists to obtain the latest information. Given the accessibility problems to pastoralists, whose very lifestyle precludes rapid assessment during Missions such as this, secondary data was all that could be obtained, although the Mission also attempted to count, from the air, herds/flocks during field visits in Somali Region, as is noted in Section 4 of this report.

Interviews were also conducted with agro-pastoralists located at their meher farming sites in Gode, El Kere, Kelafo and in Borena. From the two sets of informants, the Mission has no reason to dispute the levels of losses quoted by previous investigations. Losses due to drought and infectious diseases following the heavy rains in April/May are clearly high and recovery from such a tragedy is likely to take several years as is noted by examples given in Section 4, if the pastoralist/agro-pastoralists are left to their own devices. Such losses from extensive systems in the UK in 1947 prompted the provision of subsidies to hill farmers that have continued until today.

Presently a superficial recovery is apparent. The surviving animals, including cattle, are noted to be in good body condition and pasture/browse is abundant in all but the lower lowland areas, where still no rain has fallen. Production levels on the other hand are noted to be low. Parturition percentages are much lower than normal at 2-12 percent for cattle and 20-40 percent for sheep and goats, resulting in virtually no milk or young stock for sale or herd/flock replacements.

In the settled systems where the livestock owners are also farmers, seasonal fodder shortages and endemic disease problems (foot and mouth disease, anthrax, clostridial diseases, haemorrhagic septicaemia, lumpy skin disease, contagious bovine/caprine pleural pneumonia and pasteurellosis) remain the main problems. Trypanosomiasis may be added to this list in the lowland areas.

Concern related to a lack of veterinary prophylaxis and a lack of treatment of internal and external parasites was common, particularly as a shift in GoE policy will cause ZAB livestock sources to seek cost recovery for all drugs and some vaccines in the coming months.

Notwithstanding the above list, and a chronic shortage of fodder in the densely-populated highlands, animals were noted to be in good body condition throughout the country, reflecting the long meher season. Only animals from urban based enterprises, relying on heavily-stocked common pastures were seen to be in a condition below par for this time of the year. In Wag Hamra, North Wollo, South Wollo, North Omo and East Hararghe, shortages of oxen and poor condition at ploughing time were reported to have adversely affected cultivating range and practices, but only in North Omo is this reflected in a reduction in area cultivated. Other livestock, including poultry and equines, were beyond the scope of the Mission to assess, but no adverse reports relating to their productivity were received.

-------

4. PRODUCTION SITUATION BY REGION

4.1 Tigray

Tigray, the northermost region of Ethiopia, bordering Sudan and Eritrea, is divided into four administrative zones, West, Central, South and East. With a cultivated area of some 0.9 million hectares, it normally contributes around 5 percent of the national grain harvest. Because of a high population density, it is traditionally a food deficit area, yet this generalization masks surplus producing areas in the west and south.

With the outbreak of hostilities between Eritrea and Ethiopia in 1998, farmers in the war zones along the frontier between the two countries, were displaced and many have yet to resume farming operations in such areas due to the presence of unexploded ordnance and land mines. This having been said, the general cease-fire in early summer facilitated some return to farming operations and an increase in commercial farming enterprises in the West Zone. However, most peasant farmers in the disputed territory are still in the process of re-establishing their enterprises and recovery is slow and expensive. This year prices of draught oxen have escalated as local demand for meat is higher than normal due to the presence of two major armies each side of the border.

Rainfall, the main production determining factor began badly with the failure of the belg rains for the sixth successive year and a late start to the meher season throughout the Region. After the onset of the rains at the end of June/early July, the season varied from zone to zone. In the Eastern Zone, the rains were patchy and finished early. However, the appearance of "azmara" rains in November-December has prompted preparation of land for opportunistic early maturing barley and chick pea production typical of the zone. Water catchment focused development features strongly in development programmes in the Eastern zone and is already having an impact on both production and the reversal of environmental degradation where it has been completed.

The Central Zone also exhibited a late start to the meher and an uneven distribution but mid-August and September planting of short cycle cereals has been sustained by the continuation of rains to the time of the Mission in mid-November causing some concern for the harvestable teff crop, for which yields have been concomitantly reduced.

In the South and West Zones the rains were more evenly distributed. The spate schemes in the southern lowlands have been well supplied with floods from the eastern escarpment and in the West has noted an upsurge in commercial sowing of sorghum and sesame.

Because of the unencouraging beginning, higher prices, bad debts and delayed deliveries, fertilizer use has dropped by around 6 percent. Further, in water stressed woredas the ZAB/WAB staff advised farmers against using fertilizer to reduce costs which are unlikely to be recovered. Fortunately, the Region has had a migratory pest free year, so while the endemic non-migratory insect pests, viz., stalk borer, grasshopper and shoot fly were noted along with vertebrate pests such as rats, birds and baboons, losses from pests are expected to be no greater than levels that are normally tolerated.

The combination of the factors noted above results in a regional harvest from 904 000 hectares of 714 000 tonnes of cereals which is 17.8 percent higher than last year's cereal production from 8 percent more area and 6 percent of the estimated national total. As this total includes 64 000 tonnes of sorghum from commercial farms in the Western zone, the peasant farming cultivation of 650 000 tonnes is close to the expected contribution of the Region due to anticipated increases compared to 1999 of 56 000 tonnes and 54 000 tonnes of cereals in the South and West Zones respectively. Extensive production of oilseeds this year, particularly sesame at 78 000 tonnes, means that oilseed production is now much greater than the production of total pulses at 23 000 tonnes, reflecting the expansion of the commercial growing of sesame in the West Zone and the importance of neuq in the peasant farming system.

Food aid requirements are expected to remain high in the Eastern and Central zones and in some woredas in the Southern Zone, where successive belg rains failures have decreased assets. Furthermore in the first part of 2000 beneficiaries received less than 50 percent of their food aid needs due to late arrival of commodities, contributing to further destitution.

4.2 Afar

Afar Region, the north-east region of Ethiopia, is one of the nation's driest areas, comprising a low-lying plateau accommodating camel, sheep/goat and cattle pastoralists. Staple crop production is limited to the production of cereals through minor spate irrigation schemes, whereby run-off from the eastern escarpment is channelled to small scale sites of production. Agro-industrial enterprises in the southern zone produce irrigated cash crops from pump schemes.

Mission reports this year indicate that in Zones 1, 3 and 5 the area of production increased by around 4 percent to a total of 9 900 hectares of maize, sorghum and pulses, with some 2 000 hectares of teff from the higher areas, resulting in a production of 8 700 tonnes of cereals and 600 tonnes of pulses.

The farming systems rely on local landraces with no inputs. This year, there were no migratory pests and diseases. However, the Region is thought to be the origin of the sorghum chafer infestations noted in eastern Amhara and eastern Oromiya zones. Poor rains, which failed to support the development of biomass during the belg and early meher, resulted in the loss of an estimated 5-15 percent of sheep and goats and 15-45 percent of the cattle stock and caused premature movement of agro-pastoralists to highland areas which put pressure on grazing reserves in Amhara region. Presently, the grazing-browsing patterns have returned to normal and animal body condition has improved due to improved pasture and browse influenced by the late meher rains.

Indigenous rangeland species are currently under challenge by the encroachment of Prosopis species (mesquite) introduced during "greening of desert" campaigns. This pernicious weed is causing considerable damage to pastoralist and arable areas in east Sudan and need to be controlled before it spreads to other Regions being carried in the alimentary canal of transhumant stock.

Food aid is anticipated for livestock dependent populations suffering significant livestock losses, particularly those in Zones 1 and 2 who experienced prolonged drought. The loss of income from livestock has been compounded by severe disruption of trade with Eritrea. Families living in Zones 3,4 and 5 are slightly better off, having better access to pastures and markets in Amhara.

The humanitarian response for the Afar people in 2000 was severely hampered by inaccessibility and lack of capacity to target relief effectively. While food aid needs in the year 2001 are likely to be lower than assessed needs in 2000, actual distribution should be higher than was achieved in 2001.

4.3 Amhara

Amhara, comprising ten administrative zones, usually produces 32 percent of the national cereal harvest. Three zones Awi (formerly Agewawe), West Gojam and East Gojam are higher yielding than the other seven zones due to favourable agro-ecology and well-tuned, although different, farming practices. For instance Awi is noted as the only zone in the country where horses are the main source of animal traction for ploughing.

Two zones, Wag Harfmra and North Wollo are far less favourably situated and yields ranging from 25 percent to 30 percent of the three major production zones, depending on rainfall, are usually expected which places the zones in cereal deficit category.

The remaining five zones encompass a performance range between the two extremes, with South Wollo, South Gondar and Oromiya being more vulnerable than North Gondar and North Shewa.

This year's rainfall pattern in the Region was characterized by an early start and then breaks of varying lengths. Such dry spells were particularly long in Wag Hamra and North Wollo, delaying the planting of short-cycle crops and disturbing the vegetative growth of earlier planted long cycle crops. Fortunately, rainfall quantity and distribution was much better in the major production areas and the continuation of rains into November has supported the full growth and development of late-sown sorghum and maize and facilitated double cropping of barley in North Gondar.

Regionally, the early start to the season encouraged planting of more sorghum and maize at the expense of teff, wheat and pulses and a small regional increase in area sown to grains of 2.9 percent is noticeable by virtue of more cultivation in Awi, East Gojam, West Gojam and, paradoxically, North Wollo and Wag Hamra.

Another factor contributing to a better performance in Amhara region this year is the comparatively pest-free year. The only migratory pest outbreak noted was a limited army worm infestation in Awi, which was effectively controlled by the ZAB. In the eastern zones, sorghum chafer and Wollo Bush Cricket were identified as problems with significant effects at kebelle level. Stalk borer, red teff worm and rodents were noted as present but at tolerable levels under current agricultural economic practices, which preclude spraying cereal crops for non-migratory pests.

The relatively good rains in the main cereal producing zones prompted an increase in fertilizer demand, which was met on time in East and West Gojam and in North Gondar. This is reflected in a 12 percent increase in use but the figure masks reduced use caused by high prices and late deliveries in the less favoured areas. Consequently, the Mission pre-harvest forecast anticipates a harvest of 3.9 million tonnes of cereals and 431 000 tonnes of pulses from Amhara Region, which is slightly higher (2.4 percent) that then final post-harvest figures for the 1999 meher crop collated by the Zonal Agricultural Bureaux in early 2000 but 7.3 percent above the 1999 Mission estimates. Of this production, some 24 000 tonnes of cereals is expected from large scale commercial enterprises resulting from the privatization of State farms.

The decline in production in Wag Hamra and poor performance in woredas in the Oromiya, North and South Wollo zones where successive belg crop failures have already reduced assets and a lowered capability to respond to better conditions when they occur, will mean that food aid will still be required.

4.4 Oromiya

Oromiya, consisting of twelve administrative zones, is the largest region and encompasses productive highland plateaux as well as drought-prone valley bottoms and lowland plains. In four of the zones a bi-modal rainfall pattern is readily identifiable, potentially providing a protracted growing season and a wide range of cropping options. However, small land holdings demand two to three crops a year if needs are to be met. This places the peasant farmers in a very vulnerable position. If rains are late, a crop is omitted, causing losses that cannot be recouped even given favourable conditions. The most productive zones in the Region are Arsi, West Shoa and East Shoa, which regularly produce around 50 percent of the regional and 25 percent of the national cereal harvests. Agricultural investment in these zones is high, mechanized practices for cultivation and harvesting are common and extend to the neighbouring productive plains of Bale.

In terms of cereal production per unit area, the smaller zones of East Wollega, West Wollega, Jimma, and Illubabor are also among the higher yielding cereal zones in the country. The zones located in the eastern leg of the "T" shaped Region receive less rain and are therefore less productive and more vulnerable to seasonal vagaries. The southern-most zone of Borena, which encompasses some of the major semi-arid pastoralist grazing and browsing areas of the Region is in a similar position to the eastern Zones with regard to vulnerability.

The failure, for the third year in succession, of the belg rains in Oromiya is already well documented and has prompted an emergency response based on food aid in the affected zones of Borena, Hararghe and southern parts of Bale. Following the disappointing belg, the rainfall has been variable. In the production zones, the meher rains, although late, were well distributed and sufficient to meet crop requirements for long cycle crops such as maize and sorghum and late-planted short cycle crops teff, wheat, barley and pulses. The opportunistic planting of cereals and pulses in October is also likely to succeed as rainfall interspersed with sunny dry spells has extended until December. These breaks have enabled the mature crops to be harvested in good condition, a situation reflected in falling prices for maize and wheat throughout the Region.

Factors affecting yield increases this year as well as good rains, have been an increase in fertilizer use and its timely availability. Overall fertilizer use in the Region went up by 6 percent but is still below planned figures due to access problems related to cash availability and credit as well as road connections to the remote areas. Prices of diammonium phosphate (DAP) noted vary by as much as 45 Birr per 100 kg between zones due to transport costs and supply problems.

Regarding pests and diseases, the sorghum chafer was noted to be an emerging cause for concern in East Shoa and Arsi. Other crops were comparatively pest free and no migratory pests were reported.

Mission production estimates reflect an increase in wheat and barley areas over last year as land fallowed in 1999 has been brought into cultivation in West Shoa, Bale and Arsi. ... yields of 2 500 kg/hectare were considered to be the norm rather than the exception. Fallowed land with fertilizer was noted to be producing 4 000 kg per hectare according to combine drivers interviewed working in the zone. Increases in maize at the expense of pulses and teff are also noted in East Shoa and in East Wollega.

In the eastern zones of the Region, different patterns emerge. In West Hararghe, maize area has fallen this year whereas teff area has increased reflecting the poor rains at the beginning of the meher season. In East Hararghe, all crop areas are down. Fertilizer use in both zones is down by around 10 percent and 60 percent respectively with associated effects on yield.

The overall picture is much better than last year due to a good performance in the major cereal growing zones. Consequently, the Mission expects Oromiya Region to produce 5.62 million tonnes of cereals and 0.41 million tonnes of pulses, 20 percent more than last year's Mission's pre-harvest forecast but only 11.8 percent more grains than last year's ZAB final post-harvest assessment. Of this production, 92 000 tonnes of assorted grains, mostly wheat, is expected to come from large scale commercial farms that have been founded as joint enterprises and commercial ventures from areas previously farmed by the State. This level of production was already noted to be affecting prices which had dropped to 50 Birr for 100 kg for maize and 100 Birr per 100 kg for wheat in Shashanene and Cale respectively.

Prolonged drought conditions in eastern parts of Oromiya has exacerbated severe chronic food insecurity of communities living on marginal lands. Pastoral populations in Bale and Borena experienced livestock losses of 25-50 percent and, while conditions are improving, recovery period will be gradual and continued food aid is required for those affected.

4.5 SNNPR

Located in the south and south-west and comprising nine administrative zones and four special woredas, the Region has a diverse agro-ecology encompassing rain forests and semi-arid lowlands. Bimodal rainfall is the rule rather than the exception. However, the last four years has seen an erosion of the traditional pattern with the consecutive failure of early belg rains compounded by intense rains in April-May and then a long gap before the onset of meher rains. The foregoing notwithstanding, annual precipitation is high in the crop producing middle altitude and highland areas. Perennial crops are as important as annuals for both income generation (coffee, chat and eucalyptus) and the provision of carbohydrate foods (enset).

As has been well-documented elsewhere, the belg rains were poor, starting very late in April and ceasing in May. this pattern is apparent in all areas except the highlands where the belg rains merged with the meher and continued until November, providing excellent growing conditions and promoting increased planting.

Elsewhere the distribution was less satisfactory. The lower areas of the middle altitude lands and the higher lowland areas experienced a prolonged dry spell from May to the end of September. Only good rainfall from the last week of September until December has revived what could have been a very poor season. In the event, late-sown maize and sorghum crops are forecast to produce reasonably well.

In the bulk of the middle altitude lands a mosaic of rainfall patterns is noted, changing according to location. Overall the meher distribution has been better than for several years and has continued until December, supporting short cycle cereal and pulse sowing, ratooning sorghum crops and encouraging late planting of a diverse range of crops including short cycle maize. However, problems of a continuous supply of a variety of crops, including tubers and root crops, particularly on the small holdings relying on serial cropping remain a cause for concern except where enset (see below) provides an effective safety net.

The overall consequences are that area sown to teff has fallen by 18 percent, while areas of maize and sorghum have increased by 7 percent and areas of wheat and barley by 10 percent. This is predominantly due to changes from teff to wheat and maize in Sidama, and from teff to barley in Gurage. Elsewhere, changes occur in all directions, reflecting the complexity of the rainfall pattern. Only in North Omo is the overall area down, which is surprising for even in South Omo and Konso area sown to grains is significantly higher than in last year's meher season.

This year has been comparatively pest and disease free. The only migratory pests noted were Quelea quelea in Konso. These were sprayed effectively at the beginning of the season. Non-migratory pests were present, but only in Durashe was there a campaign to deal with them, where "cymbush" pellets were used to combat stalk borer. Elsewhere stalk borers, termites, boll worm and leaf cutters were noted at levels within the normal range of tolerance. Sorghum smut was also identified by the Mission as a problem in Durashe. Here sorghum covers an area three times greater than any other cereal and given that most sorghum is grown from seeds carried over by the farmers from year to year, and that there is no home-based seed treatment before sowing, Durashe seems particularly vulnerable to widespread smut infestation.

Fertilizer use in the Region dropped by 33 percent due to a combination of high prices, late deliveries and bad debts. Farmers were clearly not content with the present system, which provides DAP at up to 345 Birr per 100 kg in some areas and where delivery is noted to be unreliable.

The Region contains most of the enset eating communities in the country, encompassing some 8 million people who are enset dependent and a further 3.3 million who partially depend on the crop for their carbohydrate ration. The Mission confirms that this year enset is in a good condition and that there is every reason to suppose that enset use will be as normal. Bacterial wilt, through present, is not a serious problem this year. Sanitizing practices are, however, still the only response of the farmers to any outbreak. Red spider mites were noted to be associated with chlorosis of external leaves and localized high infestations of red spider mites were reported. No protection procedures were in operation.

Regarding cash crops, coffee in the SNNPR is important to both peasant farmers and the State. This year production is expected to be reduced by 20-60 percent dependent on location. This will have serious repercussions on household and regional/national incomes. The cause of the decrease is the poor rains at flowering time. In addition, Coffee Berry Disease is also noted to be reducing yields throughout the Region although in Gurarge and Sidarma extensive replanting of CBD resistant trees is noted.

Cereal and pulse production from the region is expected by the Mission to be 1.325 million tonnes and 0.127 million tonnes respectively. This is 20 percent better than last year's ZAB post-harvest assessment and reflects a 10 percent increase in area plus improved yields for all crops. However, this does not mean that the improved meher performance will compensate for belg failure at household level and food aid will continue to be needed in the long-term affected communities, such as subsistence farmers in Wolaitya and the highly populated lowlands of Hadiya, Guraghe and KAT. Small-scale cash crop producers who have lost a substantial part of their normal income will also require assistance. SNNPR also has substantial pastoral communities in South Omo that are only in the recovery stage after very high livestock losses.

4.6 Somali

Somali Region is a predominantly pastoralist, agro-pastoral area located in the semi-arid south-eastern corner of Ethiopia.

Rainfed cereal production is conducted by settled farmers in the highlands and middle altitude areas in Jig-Jigga and Shinelle zones and in isolated locations at similar altitudes such as El Kere (Adfer zone). Elsewhere, in the villages and towns along the Wabi-Shabelle river complex, a variety of annual crops are grown following the channelling of flood waters to arable land and some perennial crops including bananas, fruit trees and chat have been established with permanent irrigation schemes based on pump sets.

This year, although the belg rains failed, the floods in May were better than usual. For instance, ten days of inundation were reported in Kelajo compared to three days in 1999. Good rainfall from late September to November in the highlands and middle altitude areas has encouraged and supported late barley and sorghum sowing in Jig-Jigga.

Yields this year are estimated to be better than last year, due to better rainfall. The only migratory pest noted was Quelea quelea that were controlled by aerial spraying. Non-migratory pests including stalk-borer, birds and rodents were noted. Sorghum smut was observed to be present in Jig-Jigga Zone. As no seed dressing is practised, this is a cause for concern given the importance of sorghum. The limited fertilizer use is restricted to a few hundred hectares of national extension programme plots of wheat and sorghum.

Estimated production this year from Jig-Jigga, Gode and Liban zones is around 69 000 tonnes of cereals and 12 600 tonnes of pulses from 109 300 hectares. This is a 54 percent increase in production compared to 1999 from a 39 percent increased area.

Chat (quat) is the main cash crop and is grown intercropped with sorghum, using elaborate water harvesting techniques in the middle and highlands of Jig-Jigga and in lesser quantities in irrigated plots in a few villages along the rivers. Its level of production is outside the remit of the Mission but is expected to have increased.

The failure of the belg rains four years in a row had a devastating effect on the pastoralist/agropastoralist livestock sector. In order to obtain some direct insight into the situation the Mission flew at 2 000 feet above ground level, during the flights undertaken from Jig-Jigga to Khebre-Dar, from Khebre-Der to Denan, Denan to Gode, Gode to El Kere and back, and from Gode to Kelafo. The number and size of herds and flocks en route were noted. In such a manner some 3 200 km2 of browse and pasture were monitored in six journeys. 12 500 sheep/goats, 3 300 cattle and 1 100 camels were roughly counted by four/six observers stationed on each side of the plane. Somali Regional Bureau of Agriculture estimates of livestock numbers in Somali Region in mid-1999 suggest that the region accommodates 11.97 million sheep and goats, 6.3 million cattle and 1.14 million camels converting to an approximate ratio of sheep/goats:cattle:camels of 12:6:1. The proportion of animals noted during the Mission's flights connect to a ration of 12:3:1, suggesting a 50 percent reduction in cattle number. This approximates to previous estimates of cattle losses at 50-60 percent and suggests that sheep/goats and camel numbers may have fallen by the same at around 10 percent.

The remaining cattle were observed to be in good condition, concomitant with the current state of the grazing and browse and recharged water supplies. Livestock production this year is, however, way below normal levels, with calving percentages at 2-12 percent and lambing/kidding percentages at 20-40 percent updated by key informants. Milk is, therefore, scarce and marketable stock (surplus males) much reduced. Recovery time of breeding units will vary from species to species and from herd to herd depending on the size of the unit before the drought. For instance, a family with a 40 ewe flock previously producing 14 marketable surplus males per annum at 70 Birr per head, could purchase 8 quintals of cereals in October/November 1999 at existing terms of trade. Given flock losses at 30 percent and a reduced lambing percentage of 30 percent, the same flock would produce 4 surplus males this year and 4 flock replacements. As the flock replacements are unlikely to produce for another year to 18 months and with an annual mortality rate of breeding ewes at 10 percent and 70 percent lambing percentages in subsequent years, it will take until November 2004 before there will be comparable production from the unit without any further tragedies.

Similarly, a family with a herd of 20 breeding cows normally marketing five male calves per annum at 250 Birr per head, reduced by 60 percent and with a drought-induced calving percentage of 10 percent in 2000, will take until 2006 to reach the same level of production, assuming first calving at three years old and a calving percentage of 50 percent per annum. These figures do not take mutual assistance or restocking from purchases into consideration and are based on theoretical estimates of performance. They demonstrate that although browse and grazing and animal body condition manifest very good powers of recovery, actual production and therefore family survival and well being are a very different matter and take much longer which means that families will require different degrees of assistance for several years depending on initial animal holdings.

Food assistance to pastoralists in Somali Region serves both to meet consumption deficits due to loss of livestock and livestock products normally consumed and to preserve existing livestock assets so that valuable restocking can occur without necessary sales for income. Planned levels of food assistance are expected to moderately decrease from July 2000 levels due to good deyr rains and better livestock conditions. Concerns about food insecurity are due not only to decreases in livestock numbers but also the effect of the livestock import ban imposed in September 2000 by Saudi-Arabia and Yemen, following an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever. Insufficient aid distribution due to inaccessibility and insecurity have contributed to increases in assessed needs for 2001 in Warder, Afder, Liben, Shinile and Jigjiga Zones; whereas as a result of intensive humanitarian assistance in Fik, Gode, Degehabour and Korahe beneficiaries are anticipated to decrease by 15-20 percent in 2001 compared to July 2000. With regard to long term recovery, estimates are that beneficiaries in pastoral areas will decrease at a rate of 15-20 percent every 6 months if pasture, water and market conditions are conducive to recovery.

4.7 Harari

Harari is a small region around the city of Hara, producing sorghum and maize. This year the belg rains failed and the meher rains were delayed by 1.5 months. The start of the meher was followed by breaks and an early finish to the season. Area planted was reduced by 13 percent and production is estimated at 74 percent of last year's poor level at around 5 000 tonnes from 9 200 hectares.

4.8 Dire Dawa

Sorghum and maize are the main crops in Dire Dawa region, located around the city of Dire Dawa. This year the belg rains were poor and the meher rains began late and were light, although they persisted until November. Fertilizer use was reduced by 50 percent. No migratory pests were noted. Production is estimated to be 5 800 tonnes, comprising 94 percent sorghum from 9 700 hectares which is a little less than last year's estimates.

4.9 Addis Ababa

The total area planted to cereals and pulses in Addis Ababa Administration this year is estimated at 10 060 hectares, being mostly teff, wheat and chick peas.

The belg season rains were virtually non-existent, delaying and negatively effecting quality of land preparation for the meher season. The meher rains began late but continued well into November, enhancing plant growth, but also weed competition. Production is expected to be slightly greater than last year at around 10 500 tonnes of cereals and pulses from 10 000 hectares which is slightly better than last year.

4.10 Gambella

Gambella Region, a low-lying area in south west Ethiopia bordering Sudan. It accommodates a rich mixture of cattle pastoralists, shifting cultivators and hunter-gatherers, as well as resettled farmers from the highland plateaux. Rainfall is habitually heavy, with the seasonal floods providing the opportunity for two production cycles, the main season based on rainfall and a second season of residual moisture cropping on the river flood plains. This year the main rains were late and dry spells were noted in April and May. The Mission noted a large increase in production at 17 000 tonnes, a substantial increase in areas. It is felt that this is probably due to better reporting. The main crops noted are local landraces of sorghum and maize. Prices of cereals were lower than this time last year. Livestock were in good condition and prices firm.

4.11 Benshangul

Benshangul Region, bordering the eastern clay plains of Sudan, is a lightly populated low-lying region with a unimodal rainfall patterns which usually supports crops and pastoralism. This year the rains started on time and continued until mid-November. Farming systems rely on oxen and virtually no external inputs. This year no migratory pests were noted by the Mission and non-migratory pests and diseases were within the normal tolerance limits. Production of cereals and pulses is estimated to be 76 percent higher than last year's Mission forecast at 145 000 tonnes and 61 000 tonnes respectively due to the favourable conditions and a 31 percent increase in cropped area. Livestock in the Region were reported to be in good condition but prices are lower than last year, influenced by the ban on livestock imports imposed by the countries of the Arabian peninsula in response to outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever.

Due to promising crop production and recovery of pastoral areas relatively less affected by the previous years' droughtsAddis Ababa, Gambella and Benshangul are not anticipated to require relief assistance.

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5. 2000 Belg harvest

The 2000 belg harvest was recognized throughout the country as a failure. From a national perspective the belg is the minor season, not accounting for more than 5 percent of national production in recent years. However, in some zones namely South Tigray, North Shoa, North Wollo, South Wollo, Arsi, Bale, Borena, North Omo, South Omo, Hadiya, Gedeo Kembala, Konso, Gurarge, Sidama and the Special Woredas of the SNNPR, the belg makes an important contribution to the household food economy, providing pulses, cereals, potatoes and sweet potatoes grown from February onwards and harvested before 31 August. Its failure therefore is cause for concern, particularly for farmers with very small holdings, who depend on a series of two or three harvests through the year to meet their needs and for those farmers located in zones where meher rains are highly erratic and where the belg season normally provides the major annual source of foodstuffs. In the second category, the northern and eastern belg areas are noted to have produced no crops this year. In the first category, in Arsi and Bale some 100 000 tonnes were produced and in the SNNPR some 70 000 tonnes were harvested according to ZoA post-harvest returns collected by the Mission, but these are well below target and do not highlight the poor returns from annual root and tuber crops.

Under the procedures adopted for calculating the national grain balance, the next (2001) marketing year's belg crop has to be anticipated and included. For marketing year 2001, the Mission, based on performance in the last few years, cautiously forecasts a cereal and pulses crop of 170 000 tonnes, similar to last year, to avoid the over-estimations in the last few years. This low level of production reflects the recent run of belg failures and signals a need to build up the emergency food reserve to accommodate the eventuality of another failure. The figures used need to be adjusted at an early date in the belg season when planting and level of crop establishment can be identified.

In the year 2000 an estimated 2.4 million belg dependent beneficiaries received relief food aid, many of whom have experienced as many as five consecutive harvest failures. Evidence of marked deterioration in coping capacity including sale of productive assets and surplus of wage labour has resulted in increased malnutrition where relief food has not been regularly distributed.

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6. FOOD SUPPLY SITUATION

6.1 Cereal market and prices

A typical seasonal pattern of the prices of major grains in Ethiopia is lows during the post harvest months of November-March and highs during the pre-harvest months of July-September. Wholesale prices from the selected surplus production areas during July 1999 to November 2000 are shown in Figure 2. With improved rainfall in most parts of the country since late July 2000, the prospect of better harvest as compared to the previous year has lowered the prices of most commodities. Maize, for example, was sold at an average wholesale price of about 142 birr/q in Nekepmte market during August-October 1999, while it was sold at 75 birr/q during August-October 2000. Maize prices further dropped to an average of 64 birr/q in October and November. The Mission observed farm level prices even lower at certain locations. There were reports of hoarding by the traders with the expectation of large scale purchases by food donor agencies during December-1999 to February 2000. However, since this did not happen and the expectations for good harvest are high the prices plummeted.

Both wheat and barley prices have declined during August-October period by about 20 percent or by 40 and 30 birr/q, respectively, as compared to the same period last year. Teff and sorghum have remained relatively stable during most of the year. This is perhaps due to the poor harvest of 1999 meher crop and delayed sorghum harvest this year. The new sorghum crop has not entered the market in most parts yet. However, prices have been declining gradually since June 2000 for sorghum and since September 2000 for Teff, both with the expectation of relatively good harvests from the major teff and sorghum producing areas.

Farming activities in the border areas of Tigray Region are getting back to normal after the cease-fire agreement with Eritrea. Many of the displaced farmers have returned to their farms and are buying oxen and other cattle. As a result, cattle prices were found to be about 50 percent higher than normal in many local markets near the border. Due to the presence of soldiers in the area (Ethiopian as well as foreign peace-keepers), vegetables and fruit prices are much higher than the normal price levels. On the other hand, as discussed in the regional analysis, cattle prices in drought-affected eastern pastoralist regions have not recovered to their normal levels due to a ban on imports into the Arabian peninsula.

6.2 Grain supply/demand balance

The 2001 projected balance for cereals and pulses is summarized in Table 3, using the latest information on trade, pre-harvest stocks, and the final estimates of production from the 2000 meher crop.

Total cereal and pulse production available in marketing year 2001 (January/December) is estimated at 12.8 million tonnes, including 12.6 million tonnes from the main meher crop, as well as a provisional forecast of 170 000 tonnes for the secondary belg crop, to be harvested during the first half of 2001.

Table 3. Ethiopia: Total Grains Balance Sheet, January-December 2001 ('000 tonnes)

A. Domestic Availability
12 784
Production
12 784
- Meher
12 614
- Belg
170
B. Total Utilization
13 754
- Food Use
10 461
- Feed Use
320
- Other Uses
2 173
- Exports
400
- Stock replenishment
400
C. Import Requirement
970

On the demand side, the major part of the total grain utilization is food consumption. Total food use is based on the projected population figure of 65.382 million as of July 1, 2001 and a per caput food grain consumption of 160 kg per annum, about 6 percent higher than in 2000 to allow for nutritional recovery of the drought-affected population and also to reflect likely increased consumption due to more grain supplies and lower prices in 2001. In addition, due to the large scale loss of livestock, pastoralists who depend mainly on meat and milk will rely more on cereals and cereal based products. At 160 kg per caput, 80 percent of the calorie needs would be met by cereals and pulses, the remainder being covered by other foods such as enset, roots and tubers, oilseeds and livestock products. The total grain consumption for year 2001 is estimated at 10.46 million tonnes.

The use of cereals and cereal by-products as animal feed is expected to increase compared to last year due to improved grain availability. Total feed use is estimated at 320 000 tonnes of grain, about 2.5 percent of the total production.

As in the past years, other uses and losses are estimated at 17 percent, comprising 11 percent post-harvest losses and 6 percent as the weighted average requirement for seed for different grains. Local purchases of barley and other millets for brewing purposes are assumed to be part of the overall food requirement estimates.

Even though grain exports from the official trade statistics are usually small (usually 2 to 3 thousand tonnes), more grain trade is through unrecorded cross border exchange with the neighbouring countries. Cross border exports, particularly to neighbouring Sudan and Kenya, are expected to increase, given this year's poor harvests in both countries. The Mission assumes total exports at 400 000 tonnes, similar to the level of the previous good crop year of 1996. With tight foreign exchange resources, commercial imports are assumed to be small, with much of the 970 000 tonnes deficit anticipated to be covered by food aid.

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6.3 Food aid requirements

Food security and nutrition

Nutritional problems are many in Ethiopia. The immediate causes contributing to the high prevalence of malnutrition in the country have been identified as inadequate dietary intake in quantity and quality and high rates of disease. The Central Statistical Authority's 1998 household income, consumption and expenditure survey showed an average consumption of 1 932 kcals per person/day in rural areas and 1 620 kcals per person/day in urban settings with almost no consumption of fruit and vegetables.

All available information confirms that children, especially those under three years of age, are particularly vulnerable. Maternal malnutrition has also been cited as a problem in surveys undertaken by GTZ in Lay Gaient and Guba Lufo. The report on the "Assessment of Nutritional Problems in Amhara Region" (CIDA, 1999), further highlighted the problems of widespread endemic goitre. The consequences of Iodine Deficiency Disorders on, not only loss of intellectual capacity but also on child survival, would indicate that solving this preventable condition should be given priority by the Government.

In addition to this chronic level of malnutrition, following the belg crop failure and failure of the gu rains in pastoral areas in 2000, nutritional surveys undertaken revealed very sharp declines in nutritional status manifested by high rates of global acute malnutrition in the first half of the year 2000. In North Omo an average of 23 percent of children were found to be below 2sd (moderately and severely malnourished), the range, depending on the area surveyed, 6-45 percent, (Concern/OXFAM 2000). In the pastoral areas of Somali Region it was 32 percent, (range 10-53 percent, UNICEF 2000), and in Borena, South Omo 20 percent, (range 12-34 percent, Goal/CARE 2000).

Apart from these surveys, in many of the traditionally vulnerable regions of Ethiopia, the early warning department of the DPPC in conjunction with SCF-UK monitors the nutrition and food security situation through the Nutrition Surveillance Programme (NSP). The NSP is a longitudinal monitoring system that utilises a standard set of food security, agricultural and anthropometric indicators to track changes over time. The anthropometric indicator that has been used by the NSP is mean weight for length (MWL). A cut-off point of 90 percent MWL has been used by the DPPC to define population nutritional vulnerability and the need for external food aid.

Nutritional status in these areas as well as the highly vulnerable highlands in the north of Ethiopia (North and South Wollo, South and Central Tigray) only stabilised with the intensive humanitarian assistance provided in 2000 that will need to continue into 2001 (see table 4).

Table 4. Comparison of Nutritional Status of Farmers' Associations Surveyed in May/June 2000, (mean weight-for-length)

Mean WFL Category
Explanation1/
August'00
(%)
Improved
Mean WFL% has increased to > 90% since August 1999
48
Stable & satisfactory
Mean WFL% has not changed significantly since August 1999 and is just on 90%
19
Stable but unsatisfactory
Mean WFL% has not changed significantly since August 1999 but is <90%
26
Deteriorated
Mean WFL% has declined since August 1999
5

Source: DPPC/SCF-UK 2000
1/ Note: Mean WFL <90% is poor, DPPC guidelines.

The importance of the contribution food aid to the survival of people in North and South Wollo was documented recently in a study monitoring the impact of food aid (SCF-UK November 2000). SCF-UK found that food aid had provided between 50 and 75 percent of total calorie intake in South Wollo and between 30 and 50 percent in North Wollo. Even so most households had to cope with a deficit in calories ranging from 5-30 percent. They also attribute improved access to social services, e.g. health and education, to the prevention of displacement of population as a result of emergency food aid.

Review of Emergency Food Aid in 2000

Last year's FAO/WFP crop and food supply assessment mission (December 1999) estimated that about 7.8 million people would need emergency food aid during 2000, due to a cumulative succession of climatic shocks and poor harvests. However, after the assessment, in the first months of the year 2000, a very severe drought hit the Horn of Africa, which in Ethiopia caused near-famine conditions in parts of the Somali Region. The drought in the pastoral areas and delayed rains in the highlands brought the number of people in need of assistance to 10.2 million by mid-2000 and total emergency food aid requirements for the year increased to 1.3 million tonnes.

In response to increasing concern over the drought situation throughout the Horn of Africa region, the UN Secretary-General appointed the WFP Executive Director as his Special Envoy on the Drought in the Greater Horn of Africa, whose first mission in April was followed by a UN regional appeal for assistance to the drought-affected people in the sub-region, which was launched on 7 June. The second mission by the Special Envoy in September confirmed that the situation had been brought under control and that famine had been averted, thanks to implementation of large-scale operations providing food and non-food assistance, with the involvement of NGOs. The report alerted that there would be a need for continued emergency aid into 2001 as the situation would only slowly stabilise for vulnerable populations.

To address the underlying structural issues and to safeguard future food security, the Secretary-General established an Inter-Agency Task Force, chaired by the FAO Director-General. The Task Force report presented at a meeting of the UN Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) on 27 October 2000, recommended, inter alia, that to stabilize the food security situation and eliminate hunger, a Country Food Security Programme be developed by each of the seven countries in the Horn of Africa by mid-2001 as well as a complementary Regional Food Security Programme.

The UN Special Envoy's visits and the contribution by the Government of Ethiopia of almost 100 000 tonnes of cereals from its own resources, led the very good donor response to the emergency appeals. Food aid deliveries to Ethiopia increased from 296 000 tonnes during January-April to 675 000 tonnes during May-August. The following table summarises the year-end drought emergency food aid supply situation for the year 2000:

Table 5. Ethiopia - 2000 Relief Food Aid Arrivals, Deliveries and Balances

 
tonnes (000's)
1. Total relief food availability in 2000
997
- Carryover stocks and pledges from 1999
83
- 2000 (Jan-Dec) delivered relief pledges
9141/
2. 2000 Estimated Drought Emergency Distributions
908
3. Carryover stocks and pledges into 2001
205
- Carryover stocks from 2000
89
- 2000 undelivered relief pledges
1162/

1/ Including 22 331 tonnes expected be delivered before 31 December 2000.
2/ Excludes repayments to EFSR.

While there was a good donor response, with 83 percent of needs being ultimately resourced, in the first half of the year late deliveries, limited physical stocks and logistics constraints delayed distribution and less than 35 percent of requirements were met in the first quarter. This was partly a result of the low level of the Emergency Food Security Reserve (EFSR). Logistical constraints included port capacity problems and lack of trucking capacity, which were successfully resolved by the provision of funds for special port and transport operations through WFP.

Food distribution gained momentum during the latter part of the year. However, a variety of constraints resulted in an uneven and sometimes insufficient distribution. The common emergency food basket recommended by WFP in Ethiopia is 15kg of cereals per month, together with a supplementary ration of blended foods. Except for food delivered under the Employment Generation Scheme (EGS) where the full ration was maintained, the maximum emergency cereals ration was set at 12.5 kg per person/month in order to make the available food reach more people. In practice distribution was often much less. A relief food utilisation study which interviewed 1,322 households throughout the country concluded that actual ration size was on average 8.6 kg per person/month. Quantitative inadequacy in the general ration led to supplementary food being consumed by all family members rather than the intended `vulnerable' family members. This was a reflection of poor food security and inadequate general rations rather than poor targeting mechanisms. During some months in some woredas only supplementary food was available for distribution, at a rate of 4.5kg per family.

Household Food Security Outlook in 2001

Although Ethiopia has experienced relatively good production from the 2000 meher harvest thanks to good late rains, the harvest has not been evenly spread. The rains failed in some of the most vulnerable and densely populated areas, such as Wag Hamra, North Wollo and in East and West Haraghe. This, together with the failure of the mid-2000 belg harvest and the devastation of the pastoral economy by drought means that the number of people without access to sufficient food will remain high in 2001. Furthermore there have been four consecutive years of unfavourable rains in many rain-fed crop production areas, and cumulative drought in many of the livestock areas.

However, while in 2001 the number of people in need of emergency food aid will remain high, it is expected to be considerably lower than in the latter part of 2000. Under the most likely scenario about 6.5 million people affected by natural disaster will require assistance for an average period of about seven and a half months during 2001. This is assuming average agricultural conditions. If the rains should fail again the number would rise dramatically.

The reasons for continued large emergency assistance requirements throughout the year 2001 are briefly summarised below for the three main categories of victims of natural disaster.

Pastoral populations in the north-east, south and south-east: recovery of minimum income by households who suffered high livestock mortality through re-stocking will take several years, even if good rains continue, as described in section 3.6 of this report. The continuing ban on livestock imports from Ethiopia to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States further stands in the way of economic recovery in Ethiopia's pastoral areas.

Belg-dependent populations: the next belg harvest, even if there are good rains, is not due until mid-year and belg dependent farmers have suffered four consecutive harvest failures; even if there is a reasonable belg harvest, the reduced resource base of the majority of the affected population will not allow full recovery to minimum levels of food security.

Meher dependent populations: .the meher harvest, while good in the traditionally surplus areas, has been poor to mixed in the traditionally vulnerable areas; in areas prone to chronic food insecurity the new harvest is not enough to offset asset depletion in recent years, nor to re-pay loans incurred for inputs including fertilizer.

Close monitoring of rainfall, livestock numbers and food availability in pastoral areas will be essential for early indications of any further problems that might slow or reverse recovery. Close monitoring of rainfall and planting conditions in the Ethiopian highlands from February onwards will also be extremely important to have an early warning of a further failure or inadequate mid-2001 belg harvest, as well as early indications for the next main meher harvest due in September-December 2001.

Emergency food aid needs for victims of natural disasters have been assessed by 22 teams comprising the DPPC, WFP, NGOs and donor representatives, which visited all affected areas. More than 100 people spent about three weeks in these field assessments, which spanned a period of nearly two months. Standaridised questionnaires were employed for semi-structured interviews with key informants, including vulnerable households and woreda officials. The information obtained was used to validate and readjust emergency need estimates, which had been prepared in advance and given to the teams by regional and local government officials. The assessment methodology has been under review for the last two years and the emergency needs assessment this year took into account a number of suggestions and recommendations made by a special working group. A revised assessment approach, which was proposed by members of the working group but not employed due to lack of time, will be field-tested in early 2001. The mission strongly supports this initiative.

Some teams from the Amhara region had still not returned to Addis Ababa when the FAO/WFP mission completed its work, while the process of consolidation and re-examination by various levels of decision-making will take a few more weeks and thus the results presented below are preliminary. The DPPC appeal will contain greater detail and the aim here is not to pre-empt or influence the DPPC appeal but rather to give an early indication of the range of likely requirements. A needs assessment exercise, in conjunction with the 2001 belg pre-harvest assessment, will be conducted in June 2001, as is the usual practice of the DPPC jointly with WFP, NGOs and donors. A similar reassessment of food aid needs among pastoralists would be necessary in mid-2001. For purposes of this mission's projection of food needs in the second half of the year, it has been assumed that at least half the number of belg-dependent food aid beneficiaries, and 85 percent of pastoralists currently assessed to be in need of food aid, will continue to require assistance for an average period of 5 months in the period July-December 2001.

The approximate figures used for calculating projected emergency food needs for victims of natural disaster for 2001 are:

_ best case scenario (excellent agricultural year): 6 million people for an average of about 7 months;
_ most likely scenario (average agricultural year): 6.5 million people for an average of about 7.5 months;
_ high-case scenario (below average, but excluding disastrous events such as serious drought): 7.5 million people for an average of about 8 months.

Table 6. Number of People in Need of Emergency Food Aid by Region and Category

Region
Best case scenario in 2001
Most likely scenario in 2001
High case scenario in 20011/
People in need of assistance in mid-2000
Decrease from mid-2000 compared to most likely scenario
Belg failure affected farmers in 20012/
Meher failure affected farmers in 20012/
Pastoralists in need of assistance in 2001
 
(000's)
(000's)
(000's)
(000's)
(Percent)
(Percent)
(Percent)
(Percent)
Tigray
800
850
950
1 402
39
5.7
94.3
0
Afar
135
150
180
273
45
0
0
100
Amhara
2 000
2 100
2 300
3 569
41
33.3
66.7
0
Oromiya
1 200
1 300
1 500
1 943
33
0.2
58.7
41
SNNPR
800
900
1 100
1 370
34
73.6
17.9
8.5
Somali
1 025
1 150
1 400
1 686
32
0
0
100
Other
40
50
70
76
34
     
Total
6 000
6 500
7 500
10 318
37
21.5
46.3
32.2

1/ This is not the "worst case" scenario, such as another major drought.
2/ While some farmers are entirely belg-dependent, many farmers have both belg and meher crops, therefore the table refers to the predominant crop losses.

The map below indicates the proportion of people in need of emergency food aid by region.

The mission's emergency food aid estimates are based on the mid-case (most probable) scenario of about 6.5 million people needing assistance. The number of people in need of assistance, and the duration of that assistance for individual households, will be reviewed through post-harvest assessments, selection and monitoring processes. The assessment teams have indicated the average period of duration of assistance for each woreda and zone, and this information will also be further refined during screening, targeting and monitoring.

The duration of assistance, in months, is based on an assessment of the individual household food shortfall that cannot be met by on-farm production, net cash earnings, remittances, or sale of assets (but without further depletion of basic productive assets where these have reached very low levels). The shortfall is converted into the number of months during which household stocks of basic foods would be completely exhausted if no food aid were provided. The resulting pattern of assistance is therefore complex with some households needing three months of assistance and others six, nine and a small minority even twelve months.

Under the most likely scenario the average duration of assistance is about 9 months for belg beneficiaries, 11 months for pastoralists and 5 months for victims of meher failure. This gives the overall average of about 7.5 months. As already mentioned, this includes a contingency provision for the second semester, for belg and pastoralists, subject to reassessment in mid-2001. The food aid requirements are calculated as follows:

Table 7. Estimated Emergency Food Aid Requirements in 2001

Category of assistance
Beneficiaries
Cereals
Blended foods
Pulses
Oil
Total
 
(000's)
(tonnes)
(tonnes)
( tonnes)
(tonnes)
(tonnes)
Natural disaster
6 500
750 000
50 000
   
800 000
One month stock build up
 
63 000
4 000
   
67 000
IDPs and other war-affected
350
57 750
6 050
4 600
4 600
73 000
Total
6 850
870 750
60 050
4 600
4 600
940 000

IDPs and other war affected people's needs were not assessed by this mission. However, information provided by WFP is that the current caseload of IDPs is 287 500. Other war affected persons including deportees, returnees, and populations in Afar Region also affected, would bring the number of people in need of assistance to around 350 000 persons for a period of 11 months in the year 2001. The mission's figures do not include food needs for refugees, which are assessed separately, jointly by the Government, UNHCR and WFP .

WFP and bilateral food aid stocks are again much too low, with carry-over stocks and pledges amounting to only 205 000 tons - barely enough for the first quarter of this year. Therefore the above emergency food aid requirement includes a physical stock increase of one month's requirements at current levels for victims of natural disaster, in order to avoid breaks in distribution, or under-distribution, which have been noted by the mission as recurrent problems in Ethiopia. While donor response to both the global appeal and the WFP EMOP have been generous, the pipeline is in danger of breaking in February 2001. For March less than 40 percent of the cereal requirements are covered. New pledges are very urgently required.

While it is far too early to accurately anticipate the level of emergency needs for 2002, the mission would like to underline the need for adequate replenishment of loans from the EFSR and adequate carry-over stocks and pledges on hand at any given time.

Food Basket Considerations

The common emergency food basket recommended by WFP in Ethiopia is 15kg of cereals per month. The rationale behind this is that cereals provide the bulk of the calories in the diet and that it is cereal production that is most affected by erratic weather conditions. Oil seeds and pulses are in general available locally to complement the cereals. Provision was also made to provide 4.5 kg/month fortified blended food to the estimated 35 percent of the population deemed to be nutritionally vulnerable. The purpose of this provision of blended food is twofold, one to provide a suitable food, easily digestible by small children which is balanced in protein and energy requirements, the other is to provide a reliable source of micronutrients for those who have additional requirements e.g. pregnant women. Providing blended food as part of the general ration has many benefits. It minimises logistic requirements and is independent of the creation of parallel distribution mechanisms in the absence of functioning health centres or NGO operations. The nutritional objective is not only nutritional rehabilitation but also maintenance of good nutritional health.

In order to enhance the nutritional value of the food basket WFP will adopt two additional strategies this year. One will be to mill and fortify part of the ration for general distribution. The other is to maintain a small reserve of pulses and oil to be distributed to those who have minimal access to other complementary foods. The targeting and distribution of this food will be based on information received from the ENCU/DPPC and other competent organisations.

The Mission strongly recommends that:

This report is prepared on the responsibility of the FAO and WFP Secretariats with information from official and unofficial sources. Since conditions may change rapidly, please contact the undersigned for further information if required.

Abdur Rashid
Chief, GIEWS FAO
Fax: 0039-06-5705-4495
E-mail:
GIEWS1@FAO.ORG

M. Aranda da Silva
Regional Director, OSA, WFP
Fax: 0039-06-6513-2839
E-Mail: Manuel.ArandadaSilva@WFP.ORG

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1 The contents of this section are based on variety of sources including the Economist Intelligence Unit reports and publications of the World Bank, FAO and UNDP.

2 In the wheat fields of Arsi/Bale, 2 500 kg per hectare was considered to be the median level by combine drivers finishing the harvest and 4 000 kg/hectare were common of fallowed land.