By NECJOGHA TEAM
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA: The Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET) has said that following the below-average performance of the Gu/Genna rainy season, southeastern pastoral areas in Ethiopia are expected to face Crisis outcomes through at least November 2019 due to the poor regeneration of pasture and water resources that have negatively impacted livestock productivity and household income.
“The overall 2019 Belg harvests are estimated to be below average in most Belg-producing areas of the country, due to delayed, erratically distributed, and below-average cumulative rains across Belg producing areas of Oromia, Tigray, SNNPR and Amhara which will lead to a significant reduction in household food access. Delayed or failed planting of crops, particularly in lowland areas of Bale, and East and West Hararghe; and delayed planting in northeastern Amhara and Southern Tigray will lead to either no production or a one to two-month delay in the harvesting period,” a release from FEWSNET on June 29th says.
Maps showing Projected food security outcomes, June to September 2019 (Left) and Projected food security outcomes, October 2017 to January 2020 (Right)
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, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 28 countries.
The release by FEWSNET however, says the forecasted near-average 2019 Deyr rainy season is expected to lead to gradual improvements in livestock body conditions and productivity, though it may not significantly improve household food and income access.
Apart from the stress due to delayed, erratically distributed, and below normal cummulative Gu/Genna rainfall FEWSNET says that another reason which will lead to poor harvests is the infestation of the Fall Army Worm (FAW).
“FAW infestations have affected more than 1,159 hectares of maize in Benatsemay, North and South Ari of south Omo zone, 62 hectares in North Shewa zone of Kewet Woreda of Amhara and 44 hectares of land in Limo Woreda of East Wollega of Oromia. Though the area infested is relatively low compared to previous years, and both chemical and traditional control methods are being applied, there is a risk that the pest will continue to spread and increase infestation levels close to previous years,” FEWSNET says.