Early bimodal harvests fill food gaps as food security improves in Karamoja

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Kampala, Uganda – In most bimodal areas, atypically early and well above-average rainfall between June/July and early November has supported above-normal crop development, though southwestern areas have experienced below-average rainfall according to a food security outlook released by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) at the end of November.

“As a result, the green harvest of early planted maize, beans, and other pulses is currently available in the Eastern and Central regions and northern parts of the Western region. In southwestern areas, crops are in the advanced reproductive stage and will not be fully harvested until December. Despite some crop losses from heavy rainfall, the harvest is expected to be average to above-average in most areas, with Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes expected through May,” FEWSNET said.

FEWSNET  is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWSNET provides evidence-based analysis on some 28 countries.

The outlook explains that in Karamoja, the start of the harvest in eastern parts of Kaabong and Kotido districts, coupled with declining sorghum retail prices, has significantly improved food availability. Throughout Karamoja, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes have now improved to Stressed (IPC Phase 2). These outcomes expected to prevail through May 2020, though some poor households will begin facing food gaps in March 2020 with the start of the lean season. Above-average pasture conditions and water availability prevail across Karamoja following above-average rainfall since June/July.

“Continuous heavy rainfall and consequent flooding since June/July has led to widespread damage of roads in rural areas, as well as some crop damage in Eastern Uganda and landslides in Kasese and Bundibugyo districts. Households affected by crop losses, disruptions to trade, and destruction of residential and community facilities are engaging in some atypical levels of coping. Further heavy rainfall and flooding is expected throughout the remainder of November. According to the latest international forecasts, slightly above-average rainfall is now expected during the first bimodal rainy season from March to June,” the outlook concludes.

 

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