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News article7 June 2022Joint Research Centre3 min read

Agricultural production threatened by combination of drought and high input prices in many countries

The May edition of the JRC's Anomaly Hotspots of Agricultural Production (ASAP) assessment is now available at:  Anomaly Hotspots of Agricultural Production (ASAP) assessment

ASAP hotspot assessment May 2022
ASAP hotspot assessment May 2022
© EU 2022

Main findings of the May global overview:

At harvesting time in Southern Africa, production prospects vary across the countries owing to the mixed seasonal performance. Decreased production is expected in Mozambique, Madagascar and Malawi. By contrast, South Africa’s maize output is expected to be slightly above the 5-year average. Although the region may have adequate maize availability to meet its demand, the combination of high food prices and high fertiliser prices would potentially push millions more into hunger and poverty (WFP, Seasonal Monitor, 03/2022, WFP: Implications of the Ukraine Crisis).

Drought conditions are affecting large areas of the East Africa region and crop conditions have deteriorated in many parts. In addition to the impacts of the exceptionally prolonged drought, additional pressure on food security in the region is caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as the region is highly dependent on imports of grains and fertiliser. The combined impact of weather extremes, conflict-related displacement and rising food prices are the drivers of high-level acute food insecurity in the region, with approximately 39.8-41.3 million people forecast to be in ‘Crisis or worse’ (IPC Phase 3 or above) in 2022 (GRFC).

In North Africa, towards the end of the winter wheat season, the negative impacts of drought are visible clearly in most of Morocco and in the western part of Algeria. Latest yield forecasts indicate wheat and barley yields of less than 50% of the 5-year average in Morocco, and of ca. 20% below the 5-year average in Algeria. Low winter wheat production in one or more countries in North Africa is of particular concern, with the expected food price inflation linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Similarly, in the Middle East, prospects for winter cereals are poor in the north of Syria and north and east of Iraq due to poor rainfall and poor socio-economic conditions since autumn 2021. In contrast, the biomass of winter crops is still close to average in northern Iran, whereas prospects are below-average for rainfed and irrigated crops in Fars and Esfahan.

In West Africa, first season maize crop conditions are generally favourable in the southern bi-modal parts of the region as rainfall in the last month was average to above-average across most parts of the region save for north-western parts of Nigeria and parts of Guinea. However, there is concern for the 2022 main cereal season, as the worsening security conditions in conflict-affected areas and limited access to fertilisers are likely to curtail yields and hamper planting activities (FAO).

In Central Asia, the biomass of winter crops is good and prospects are favourable. In Afghanistan, harvest of winter cereals is underway with mixed prospects. In South Asia, harvest of Rabi crops (winter cereals) in Pakistan and Boro rice in Bangladesh has been completed and prospects are favourable; however, a heat wave that struck Pakistan may have impacted grain filling. In Sri Lanka, the sowing of second (Yala) rice and maize crops has finalised under favourable weather conditions but with fertilizer and fuel shortage due to a strong economic crisis.

In South-East Asia, dry season rice harvest is underway or nearing completion with good prospects. The planting of wet season rice has started, favoured by an early arrival of the monsoon. In Indonesia, prospects are favourable for wet season rice and the planting of dry season rice has started under favourable moisture conditions.

In Central America, planting of the Primera season crops maize, beans, rice and sorghum is underway with favourable conditions, except in Guatemala and Honduras, where rainfall at the start of the rainy season was erratic. In the Caribbean, reduced main season crops prospects are expected in Haiti. In Cuba, rice sowing was underway with favourable weather conditions save for western areas. In all countries, fuel and input prices might be hindering main season planting.

The next assessment is scheduled for the end of June 2022.



Publication date
7 June 2022
Joint Research Centre