Reference Date: 11-February-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Erratic rains characterized the 2013 cropping season
Erratic Rainfall affect the 2013 cropping season Harvesting of the “Kremti” long rainy season crops has been completed in December
The “Kremti” season, which normally extends from late June and September bringing heavy rains to most of Eritrean territory except in the coastal lowlands, is the main season for cereal production and is also important for pastoralist households.
Satellite-based analysis indicate that in 2013 the first “Kremti” season rains were received earlier than normal in some areas (Debub and Maekel highlands); subsequently, following a long dry spell in July, significant rains were received only in August in large parts of the country (Gash Barka, Anseba and North Red Sea regions).
According to a Scientific and Policy Report published by the EC’s Joint Research Centre in August 2013, the Eritrean Ministry of Agriculture planned to cultivate 240 000 hectares in Gash Barka, one of the main agricultural regions. However, due to the late onset of rains, only 150 000 hectares had been cultivated by mid‑August. Livestock was similarly affected, because the early rains in June were not enough to maintain good pasture conditions. The abundant rainfall received in August, which caused flooding and crop damage in Anseba region, was followed by a slightly premature end of the rainy season in the first dekad of September, which is likely to have negatively impacted crop development during the crucial grain filling phase.