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News article7 March 20191 min read

Crops severely affected in Southern Africa. Good conditions for winter crops in North Africa, the Middle East and Central and South Asia.

ASAP hotspot assessment of 07/03/2019
© EU, 2019

The February edition of the JRC's Anomaly Hotspots of Agricultural Production (ASAP) assessment shows evidence of reduced or wilted crop areas and deteriorating pastoral conditions in parts of Southern Africa, while the harsh dry season in East Africa is leading to increased food prices. Conditions are favourable for winter crops in North Africa, the Middle East and Central and South Asia.

Main findings of the February global overview:

  • The late onset of the rainy season and the continuation of rainfall deficits in 2019 has adversely affected crop development and delayed planting across parts of Southern Africa. The maize area planted in South Africa is 10 % less than the 10-year average, while crop areas are particularly affected in southern Angola, northern Namibia, central and southern Zimbabwe and Lesotho (Special Focus report).
  • A harsh dry season in East Africa, with abnormally high temperatures since January 2019, is adversely affecting pastoral resources, driving food prices upwards and further exacerbating some of the worst food security crises taking place in South Sudan and Somalia.
  • Crop conditions in North Africa remain generally favourable, with localised rainfall deficits and high temperatures only in western and north-eastern Morocco.
  • In most areas of Central and South Asia, moisture conditions this season, in contrast to 2018, are favourable to winter cereals and pastures.
  • In South-East Asia, conditions are favourable for dry season rice throughout the region except in central Thailand and the northern Philippines, which received below-average rainfall since mid-January.
  • Despite below-average rainfall in February across Central America, the harvest of the Apante season is not expected to be seriously affected in Guatemala and Nicaragua, thanks to adequate rainfall early in the season.

The next assessment is scheduled for the end of March 2019.

Further information

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Anomaly Hotspots of Agricultural Production (ASAP) assessment


Publication date
7 March 2019