Reference Date: 02-July-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Favourable rains received at the beginning of the main “meher” season (June-September), mainly in western parts of the country
Harvesting of the secondary “belg” season harvest is underway and output is expected at average levels
Dry weather conditions affect grazing resources in southeastern and northern pastoral areas
Cereal prices increase seasonally in most markets
Food security conditions improve in “belg” season areas, while the lean season deepens in “meher” season areas
Favourable prospects for the 2014 main “meher” season crop production
Planting of the 2014 main “meher” season crops is well underway and in key producing areas of western Oromia, Amhara and Benishangul Gumuz regions, the current outlook of germinating crops is good. Adequate amounts of rainfall were received in most crop producing areas leading to positive vegetation index (see green areas of the map on NDVI anomaly). The harvest is scheduled to start from October and production prospects are generally favourable as June-to-September “kiremt” rains are forecast at average to above‑average levels.
Harvesting of the secondary “belg” season crops has started normally in June and production is forecast at average levels, with the exception of Bale and Guji lowlands in Oromia region as well as southern SNNP region that received below‑average cumulative rains. The 2014 multi‑agency and multi‑sector “belg” assessment started during the third week of June and s expected to provide detailed information about “belg” production.
Dry weather conditions affects pasture and water availability in most pastoral and agro-pastoral areas
Dry weather conditions prevailed in April and May in most pastoral and agro-pastoral areas of the country. The analysis of latest available satellite images indicates negative vegetation indexes - NDVIs in most south-eastern and northern pastoral areas, mainly in Somali and northern Afar regions as well as lowlands of Guji and Borena zones in southern Oromia region (see orange areas in the map on NDVI anomaly). In these areas, livestock have only partially returned from dry season grazing areas, with negative consequences on milk availability for most households. Some improvements are expected in northern pastoral areas of Afar region as “karan/karma” rains are expected to start in July and continue until September. Conversely, in southern pastoral areas, as the “deyr/hageya” rains will start only in October, the current below-average rangeland conditions are expected to further deteriorate during the June to September dry season, with consequent deterioration of livestock body conditions and productivity.
Cereal prices increase seasonally in most markets
A seasonal increase of about 11 to18 percent was observed in wholesale prices of main cereals in most markets between February and April. More price increases are expected until October when newly harvested crops are supplied. In April, prices were still around their levels of 12 months earlier due to ample availabilities from the bumper 2013 main “meher” harvest. In the capital Addis Ababa, prices of wheat and red sorghum increased over the same period by 19 and 27 percent, respectively, sustained by a strong local demand, while prices of teff and white sorghum were relatively stable.
Food security conditions improve in “belg” areas, while the lean season deepens in “meher” areas
Food security conditions are improving in “belg” dependant areas as newly harvested crops become available for local consumption. By contrast, the lean season extended in most “meher” season crop producing areas and would continue until the beginning of the green harvest in October. Access to food is likely to deteriorate, particularly in eastern marginal crop producing areas that had a below average “meher” production in 2013, such as the Tezeke River catchment in Amhara region and north-eastern parts of Tigray region, where food stocks are expected to be depleted earlier than usual. Food security conditions are also expected to worsen for most pastoral communities in southern and south-eastern areas along the Kenyan border which are entering into the June-to-September dry season with depleted grazing resources.
According to the latest assessment by the Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector (DRMFSS) of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) released in January 2014, the number of people in need of emergency food assistance until the end of the year is estimated at 2.7 million, mainly in Oromia, Somali, Amhara and Tigray regions. This figure is expected to be adjusted based on the finding of the ongoing multi-agency and multi-sector “belg” assessment.
By the end of May 2014, Ethiopia was hosting about 570 000 refugees, mainly from Somalia, South Sudan, Eritrea and the Sudan. In particular, the flow of people from South Sudan is on the rise from the end of last year when the conflict erupted, with over 37 000 arrivals only during the month of May. In the most likely scenario, the South Sudanese refugees population in Ethiopia is expected to increase from 190 000 people in May 2014 to 300 000 people by the end of the year.