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Reference Date: 27-July-2015


  1. Below-average 2015 “gu” cereal harvest expected due to unfavourable weather conditions

  2. Uncertain prospects for off-season crops to be gathered in September-October

  3. Short-lived and limited improvements in pasture availability and livestock body conditions in several pastoral areas due to erratic rainfall

  4. Prices of cereals generally at high levels in most markets

  5. Food security deteriorated despite the ongoing harvest due to reduced output and high food prices

Unfavourable prospects for 2015 main “gu” season crops

In central and southern agro-pastoral areas, harvesting of the 2015 “gu” season crops has just started and output is forecast at below-average levels due to erratic April to June “gu” rains. Heavy rains, which fell earlier than normal during the third dekad of March, resulted in floods in the Shabelle Valley, with damages to infrastructures and loss of planted area. Subsequently, the early cessation of rains in late May, when normally it should be the peak of the rainfall season and is essential for crop development, affected crops at critical flowering or grain-filling stages in most central and southern regions, including Bay, Bakool, Hiraan, Middle Juba, and Middle Shabelle.

In northwestern cropping areas in Togdheer, Wooqoi Galbeed and Awdal regions, the 2015 “gu” cereal production is also expected to be below average due to insufficient rains. In this area, the main “karan” harvest is to be gathered in October-November and its output will depend on July to September “karan” rains that are forecast at below-average to near-average levels.

Uncertain prospects for off-season crops

In riverine areas of the Shabelle Valley (Lower Juba, Middle Juba, Middle Shabelle and Gedo regions), planting of off-season crops, mainly maize to be gathered between September and October, has been favoured by the early cessation of the “gu” rains. However, the typical showers of the July-September “hagaa” season were so far below average, with a negative impact on crop development and yield.

Limited and short-lived improvements in pasture availability in parts due to erratic rainfall

In several pastoral areas, the improvement in pasture, browse and water conditions has been limited during the 2015 “gu” rainy season, due to the erratic rainfall distribution. Pasture conditions are currently below average in several areas, including parts of Bari, Sanaag, Awdal and Wooqoi Galbeed regions in the north, and parts of Galguduud, Middle and Upper Juba and Lower and Upper Shabelle in the centre-south. As a result, in most of the affected areas, the improvement in livestock body conditions and milk availability will be short-lived and earlier-than-normal pasture depletion and livestock body condition deterioration are expected during the July-September “hagaa” dry season. By contrast, in the northwestern Guban coastal plain, the July to September “karan” rains may alleviate the anticipated pasture shortages.

Cereal prices remain at high levels

In the first semester of 2015, prices of sorghum remained firm while prices of maize increased by about 20 percent in main markets of the south, including the capital, Mogadishu, despite the commercialization of the “deyr” crops, harvested in January, and the recent start of the “gu” harvest. In June, they were at high levels in most markets, mainly due to the lingering effects of consecutive seasons of below-average production and trade disruptions caused by civil conflict. For instance, sorghum was traded in June in Mogadishu and Baidoa, located in the sorghum belt, at SOS 8 000 and SOS 5 500 per kg, respectively, 14 and 11 percent below the high levels of the same month of the previous year but 51 and 66 percent more than 24 months earlier. Similarly, prices of maize in Mogadishu and in Marka, located in the important maize producing region of Lower Shabelle district, in June 2015 were at about the same levels of 12 months earlier but 33 and 45 percent higher than 24 months earlier. By contrast, prices of imported rice were stable in recent months at around the same levels of 12 and 24 months earlier in most monitored markets.

Food security deteriorated despite the ongoing harvest due to reduced output and high food prices

The “gu” harvest crops, albeit reduced, will improve cereal availability. However, the erratic rainfall negatively impacted agricultural activities and reduced labour opportunities and wage rates; this, coupled with high food prices, is constraining food access, especially for poor, market dependant households, with a negative impact on food security.

By contrast, the food security situation is likely to improve for pastoralist households as a result of improving livestock body conditions and higher prices as well as increased milk availability.

Overall, the already serious food security situation deteriorated further. According to the results of the “deyr” 2014/15 assessment, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance (IPC Phases 3 and 4, Crisis and Emergency levels) until June 2015 was estimated in early February at 731 000 people. Although the results of the “gu” 2015 assessment are not yet available, the estimated number of people in need of relief food assistance is estimated to have increased since May.

Relevant links:
 As of Jul 2015, included in the list of "Countries Requiring External Assistance for Food"
 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: 2008, 2005, 2001, 1999, 1999, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1997, 1997
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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