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Ethiopia: GIEWS Country Brief: Ethiopia 03-December-2019

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Country: Ethiopia
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT Overall favourable prospects for 2019 main Meher season crops due to abundant and well‑distributed rains Unseasonal rains in October and November, and infestations of desert locusts likely to result in localized crop losses Reduced output of 2019 secondary Belg season harvest due to poor rains, especially in eastern Oromiya Region Flood‑induced livestock deaths and pasture losses due to locusts curbing drought recovery in most southeastern pastoral areas Prices of cereals increased in 2019 to high levels due to production shortfalls and high fuel prices According to IPC analysis, estimated number of food insecure people declined from 8 million in July‑September to 6.7 million in October‑January as main ongoing Meher harvest increases food availability Major concerns exist for Somali, Afar and eastern Oromiya regions, where large segments of population require urgent humanitarian assistance Overall favourable prospects for 2019 main Mmeher cereal crop production Harvesting of the 2019 main Meher season crops is well underway and production prospects are generally favourable. In western key‑producing areas of Benishangul Gumuz, western Amhara and western Oromiya regions, the June‑September Kiremt rains were up to 30 percent above average, with a positive impact on yields. According to remote sensing data, vegetation conditions in late September 2019, immediately before the start of the harvesting activities, were generally good in these areas (see ASI map). However, unseasonal heavy rains at harvest time in October and November, coupled with desert locust infestations in eastern Amhara, eastern Oromiya and Tigray regions, are likely to result in localized crop losses. The Government is implementing control measures to contain the locust outbreak. Poor performance of secondary Belg season harvest T he secondary Belg season harvest was concluded in September in eastern Amhara, eastern Oromiya and northeastern SNNP regions, with about a one‑month delay. The February‑May Belg rainy season was characterized by a late onset, an erratic distribution and below‑average amounts of rains, with a negative impact on planted area and yields. As a result, the cereal output is estimated at below‑average levels, with significant crop production shortfalls recorded in eastern Oromiya Region. In particular, in East and West Harerghe zones, where no significant rains were received until April and seasonal cumulative precipitations were up to 60 percent below average, the cereal output was very poor, with crop failures reported in some areas. Drought recovery in southeastern pastoral areas curbed by locust infestations and floods In pastoral and agro‑pastoral areas of southern SNNP, southern and eastern Oromiya and southern Somali regions, which experienced severe rainfall deficits during the past two rainy seasons, the October‑December 2019 Deyr-Hageya rains have been so far exceptionally abundant. The heavy precipitation, more than twice the long‑term average in October and November, prompted a substantial regeneration of rangeland resources and resulted in marked improvements of vegetation conditions. The increased pasture and water availability is resulting in improved livestock body conditions and in increased conception rates. However, the heavy rains triggered widespread floods that resulted in localized livestock losses in an increase of the incidence of water‑borne animal diseases. In addition, locust infestations are causing substantial pasture losses. These shocks are curbing the recovery process of pastoralists #39; livelihoods, which have been severely affected by massive livestock losses during the prolonged 2016/17 drought and the past two poor rainy seasons. In northern pastoral areas, vegetation conditions are below average in northernmost parts of Afar Region, the Zone 1. Here, the mid‑July to mid‑September 2019 Karan/Karma rains were about 40 percent below average and rangeland resources entered the ongoing dry season with already poor conditions. Prices of cereals increasing to high levels in 2019 Prices of maize increased by 30‑65 percent between January and October in all monitored markets, including the capital, Addis Ababa, as seasonal upward trends were amplified by reduced supplies from the secondary Belg harvest. By October, prices were 35‑70 percent above their year‑earlier levels, also supported by the depreciation of the local currency which resulted in increasing fuel and agricultural input prices inflating transport and production costs. In Mekele market, located in the Tigray Region, maize prices surged by about 20 percent in September, likely due to concerns over the impact of the locust outbreak on the outcome of the Meher harvest. Similarly, prices of other cereals, including teff, wheat and white sorghum, increased in the capital, Addis Ababa, by 25‑30 percent between January and October, when they were up to 40 percent above their year‑earlier levels. In 2019, prices of livestock increased in the southern Somali Region due to lower supplies following severe animal losses during consecutive poor rainy seasons and, in September 2019, prices of goats in Gode market were about 40 percent higher than one year earlier. However, staple food prices increased at faster rates, with prices of sorghum doubling between September 2018 and September 2019 in Gode market. The ensuing deterioration of terms of trade over the last 12 months indicates severe food access constraints for pastoralists #39; households, which are also engaged in repopulating their herds and have few animals to sell. Food security situation seasonally improving in late 2019, but humanitarian needs remain substantial According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, about 8 million people were estimated to face severe food insecurity (IPC Phase 3: Crisis and IPC Phase 4: Emergency ) between July and September 2019. Of these, about 6.1 million people were classified in IPC Phase 3: Crisis and about 1.9 million people in IPC Phase 4: Emergency . The areas most affected by food insecurity were located in northern Amhara, northern Afar, southern Tigray, eastern Oromiya and Somali regions. The highest prevalence of food insecurity was recorded in Oromiya and Somali regions, where about 30 and 35 percent of the population, respectively, were estimated to require urgent food and livelihood assistance. Between October 2019 and January 2020, the number of food insecure people is projected to decline by about 16 percent to 6.7 million, with the Meher harvest improving food availability. Marginal improvements are reported in Oromiya Region due to substantial crop production shortfalls of Belg crops. In Afar Region, the number of food insecure people is projected to increase by almost 30 percent as seasonal deterioration due to the ongoing dry season is exacerbated by a faster‑than‑normal depletion of rangeland resources. In the Somali Region, the improvement of the food security situation is in line with the decline of the food insecure caseload at national level, mainly due to the favourable impact of abundant October‑December Deyr rains on pastoral livelihoods. However, livelihood losses caused by floods and locust infestations curbed the seasonal improvement, and humanitarian needs remain substantial, with 30 percent of the population estimated to require urgent food and livelihood assistance.


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