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News article4 November 20212 min read

Delay in rainy season onset hits East Africa and is expected also in North Africa and Middle East

ASAP hotspot assessment October 2021

The October 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 October global overview

  • In Southern Africa, land preparation and planting of summer crops are ongoing, and the seasonal weather forecast for October-December 2020 is favourable overall. Harvest of winter wheat is nearing completion and production prospects are favourable for South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  • In East Africa, at the beginning of the short rains, the onset of the season is delayed by at least 20 days and seasonal rainfall forecasts point towards a below-average rainy season especially in Somalia, southern Ethiopia and eastern Kenya. Heavy floods in the last months have affected Sudan and South Sudan. The food security situation in South Sudan, in the Tigray, western Afar and northern Amhara regions of Ethiopia and in Somalia, is alarming.
  • In West and Central Africa, the main season is coming to an end. Despite rainfall deficits early and late in the season, production prospects are overall positive. Persisting insecurity and civil conflict in the Lake Chad region, north-west, and central states of Nigeria and the tri-border area (i.e. Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger) continue to hamper agro-pastoral activities in the region.
  • In North Africa and the Middle East, planting of winter cereals has started. For North Africa, the Copernicus C3S multimodel seasonal rainfall forecast and for the Middle East, the rainfall forecast by WMO indicate a high probability of below-average rainfall. Monitoring of the situation in the coming weeks is crucial.
  • In Central Asia, sowing of winter crops has started with concerns about below average rainfall for the next three months according to the WMO multimodel forecast. In Afghanistan, nearly half of the population is facing acute food insecurity due to a conjunction of factors. In South Asia, harvest of kharif (summer) crops is underway in Pakistan with average prospects; harvest of Aman rice in Bangladesh will start next month and prospects are favourable.
  • In South-East Asia, prospects for wet season rice are good thanks to abundant seasonal rainfall. Prospects for dry season rice in Indonesia and for rice and maize crops in North Korea are also favourable.
  • In Central America, harvesting of the primera is almost complete and an average level is expected in most parts of the region, except in localised parts. Postrera is ongoing and rainfall since mid-September has been below average. Crop conditions remain overall favourable, except in north-eastern Honduras and parts of east Guatemala. Poor rains in the south of Haiti aggravated the deteriorated food security situation in the region, which was also affected by an earthquake and tropical storm Grace in mid-August.

The next assessment is scheduled for the beginning of December 2021.

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Anomaly Hotspots of Agricultural Production (ASAP) assessment


Publication date
4 November 2021