GIEWS > Data & Tools > Earth Observation
GIEWS - Global Information and Early Warning System

Country Briefs


Reference Date: 27-September-2023


  1. Favourable weather conditions at start of 2023 (September‑November) “short‑rain” season

  2. Average cereal output expected in 2023

  3. Prices of maize and beans higher than one year earlier

  4. Concerns for food security situation in northern areas

Favourable weather conditions at start of 2023 (September‑November) “short‑rain” season

The 2023 (September‑November) “short‑rain” season had a timely onset and rainfall amounts received in the first half of September were up to 80 percent above average (Precipitation anomaly Map), with a favourable impact on planting operations and germination of “2024A” crops, to be harvested between December 2023 and January 2024. According to the latest weather forecast by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s (IGAD) Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC), precipitation amounts during the remainder of the rainy season are expected to continue at above‑average levels, with a likely positive impact on yields of “2024A” crops.

Average cereal output expected in 2023

The harvest of the “2023C” season crops, accounting for about 15 percent of annual production, started in September in marshlands and irrigated areas, and will be concluded in November. An above‑average crop production is expected as abundant precipitation amounts received during the February to May “long‑rain” season adequately recharged water sources.

Harvesting of the “2023B” main season crops, accounting for about 50 percent of the annual crop output, was concluded last July. Planted area is estimated at 15 percent below average, due to an overlap between planting operations of “2023B” crops and harvesting operations of “2023A” crops which were significantly delayed. Abundant cumulative precipitation during the February to May “long‑rain” season, along with an increased availability of subsidized fertilizers, boosted yields, offsetting the reduction in plantings (ASI map). As a result, production of B season cereals (maize, sorghum and rice) and tubers (cassava and sweet potatoes) is estimated at average levels, while production of beans was below average as pulses are particularly vulnerable to excess moisture.

Harvesting of the “2023A” season crops, representing about 35 percent of the annual crop production, concluded last March, with almost two months of delay due to a late onset of seasonal rains. Above‑average rainfall amounts during the remainder of the rainy season offset the early moisture deficits and brought cumulative rains to above‑average levels. However, some damage was irreversible, and crop production is estimated at 10 to 15 percent below average. Substantial crop production shortfalls occurred in northern and eastern areas, where the rainy season had a particularly poor performance.

The 2023 aggregate cereal production is tentatively forecast at an average level of 435 000 tonnes.

Prices of maize and beans at high levels

Prices of maize followed mixed trends in recent months. Prices in August were between 20 and 45 percent higher than a year earlier, mainly due to a weak national currency resulting in high prices of inputs, including fuel, that boosted production costs. Prices of beans recorded higher year‑on‑year levels, between 65 and 95 percent, mainly due to a reduced production in 2023.

Concerns for food security situation in northern areas

According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, about 1.2 million people (9 percent of the analysed population) are estimated to face severe acute food insecurity between June and September 2023. Compared to the same period of the previous year, the prevalence of acute food insecurity has remained substantially unchanged, but its severity has decreased as there were about 51 000 people in IPC 4 (Emergency), while currently the whole food insecure population is in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis).

The worst food insecurity conditions are reported in the Northern Lowlands livelihood zone, mainly due to significant crop production shortfalls of the “2023A” harvest. The presence of a substantial number of returnees and the ensuing competition for limited resources and livelihood opportunities further exacerbates food insecurity.

There are concerns for the food security situation of about 69 000 internally displaced persons, mainly displaced by natural disasters, and for about 87 000 refugees and asylum seekers, predominantly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which have limited livelihood opportunities and need to rely on humanitarian assistance.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

This brief was prepared using the following data/tools:
FAO/GIEWS Country Cereal Balance Sheet (CCBS)

FAO/GIEWS Food Price Monitoring and Analysis (FPMA) Tool .

FAO/GIEWS Earth Observation for Crop Monitoring .

Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) .