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News article4 June 20212 min read

Reduced winter crops harvest in parts of the Maghreb, the Middle-East and Central Asia

ASAP hotspot assessment May 2021

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

Main findings of the May global overview:

  • Favourable production prospects of the main cereal season in most parts of Southern Africa are expected to improve food security conditions in the region. The bumper harvests in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia reflect the beneficial agroclimatic conditions in the 2020/2021 agricultural season. Diminished cereal outputs are expected in south-western Angola, north-western Namibia and southern Madagascar.
  • Intensive rainfall since early May in several countries in East Africa has caused localised flooding and landslides, however the cumulated rainfall amounts remain below average with a likely impact on crop production. Abnormally dry conditions are affecting pastoral areas of Somalia, eastern Kenya and eastern Ethiopia. There is an increased risk of food insecurity for vulnerable populations, due to a combination of factors (below-average production, economic slowdown due to COVID-19, reduced remittance inflows). In South Sudan, over 7 million people are projected to fall into crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity (WFP and FAO).
  • In North Africa and the Middle East, below-average winter cereal yields are expected in western and central Algeria, north-eastern Morocco, north Syria and Iraq. In Iran, conditions of winter cereals are mixed. In Yemen, weather conditions have been favourable for the start of sorghum; however, the food security crisis remains due to conflict and economic decline.
  • In Central Asia, below-average winter cereal production is expected in eastern Turkmenistan and western Uzbekistan. Cereal conditions are close to average in most of the region with the exception of southern Kazakhstan and northern Kyrgyzstan, where winter crops biomass has been below average since mid-March. In South Asia, the harvest of winter cereal in Pakistan, and of dry season irrigated Boro rice in Bangladesh is finishing with good prospects.
  • In South-East Asia, the harvest of dry season rice is finishing with good prospects in most countries. In Indonesia and the Philippines, harvest prospects are favourable for wet and dry season rice, respectively.
  • Planting of the primera season in Central America and spring crops in Haiti is ongoing under favourable conditions, despite rainfall deficits in May. In Cuba, rainfall deficits in May have resulted in below-average vegetation conditions, and the situation should be monitored in the following weeks.

The next assessment is scheduled for the end of June 2021.

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Anomaly Hotspots of Agricultural Production (ASAP) assessment


Publication date
4 June 2021