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Reference Date: 06-October-2015


  1. Satisfactory 2015B harvest except in some areas affected by below-average rainfall

  2. Prices of maize and beans on the rise

  3. Minimal levels of food insecurity, except in some southern and eastern parts

Satisfactory 2015B harvest except in some areas affected by below-average rainfall

Harvesting of 2015B season crops was concluded in July. After a timely onset of seasonal rains in February, a dry spell in the first two dekads of March had a negative impact on crop establishment and required some replanting of cereal and bean crops. Subsequently, rainfall resumed to above-average levels in April and May in several cropping areas and subsided later than usual, continuing into the second dekad of June. By contrast, in some southern, eastern and northern parts, precipitation was near average, and thus insufficient to erode the moisture deficits caused by the early season dryness. In these areas, according to remote sensing analysis (see Vegetation Health Index map), vegetation conditions in July were below-average.

Harvesting of the minor 2015C season crops, which approximately accounts for 10‑15 percent of annual food crop production, mainly potatoes and beans, has been recently concluded and the production outlook is favourable. Since the C season crops are usually grown in marshlands using residual moisture from the previous rainy season, current yields are estimated at above-average levels due to the later-than-usual conclusion of the 2015B rainy season.

Land preparation of the 2016A season, for harvest early next year, started in August in paddy-growing areas and continued during September when the bulk of the planting of the major food crops took place. After a timely onset of seasonal rainfall in early September, a dry spell in mid-September required some re-plantings of bean crops. Subsequently, rains resumed in late September. Above-average rainfall forecast for the remainder of the short rainy season (September-December) is expected to benefit crop performance.

The overall cereal production in 2015 is forecast at about 859 000 tonnes, 10 percent higher than the reduced output obtained in 2014 and equal to the last five-year average.

Prices of maize and beans on the increase

Despite the recent completion of the B season harvest, prices of maize and beans in the Kigali market increased between July and September by 20 and 23 percent, respectively, mainly due to the increase in demand following the influx of Burundian refugees and to the devaluation of the local currency against the US dollar. However, despite the recent increases, prices of both maize and beans in September were around the same levels of 12 months earlier, due to the availability of stocks from the satisfactory 2015 A harvest. Food prices are expected to continue to rise during the main lean season (October-December), until crops of the 2016A season harvest become available for consumption at the beginning of next year.

Minimal levels of food insecurity, except in some southern and eastern parts

“Minimal” levels (IPC Phase: 1) of acute malnutrition are reported in most areas of the country. However, the lean season has already started one month earlier than usual for poor households in parts where cereal harvests have been below average due to erratic rainfall and cassava harvests have been negatively impacted by the Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD), such as the Central Plateau Cassava and Coffee Zone in Southern Province and the Bugesera cassava zone in Eastern Province. As a result of reduced availabilities, compounded by access constrains due to increasing fuel and food prices, “Stressed” levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase: 2) will persist in the Bugesera Cassava Zone, where cassava harvests have been consistently low since December 2014 due to substantial disease-related losses, while household food insecurity is likely to deteriorate in October from “Minimal” (IPC Phase: 1) to “Stressed” (IPC Phase: 2) in the Central Plateau Cassava and Coffee Zone in Southern Province. In these areas, food security conditions are expected to improve by January 2016 with the beginning of the 2016A season harvest. However, the prevalence of Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) and current existence of the Cassava Brown Steak Disease (CBSD) implies that cassava-based production systems are under threat from various strains of Mosaic (viral) Disease. As a result, most households in the Bugesera district and Southern Province will still be vulnerable to production shortfalls and thus threatened in their food security.

The number of refugees from Burundi has recently declined; however, an estimated 69 400 Burundi refugees still resided in Rwanda as of mid-September, exerting pressure on the food and income sources of poor host households.

Relevant links:
 Cereal Supply/Demand Balance Sheet
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 1998, 1997, 1996, 1996, 1995
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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