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News article10 November 20201 min read

Horn of Africa threatened by drought according to seasonal weather forecasts

ASAP hotspot assessment October 2020

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 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, floods, desert locusts and low availability of inputs are driving reduced main season cereal production in Sudan, Somalia, north-east Ethiopia and South Sudan. Seasonal weather forecasts point to increased drought risk in the Horn of Africa, with possible failure of second season production. Problems with accessing farming inputs are limiting planted area in the bimodal regions. Desert locusts continue to reproduce and spread in parts of the region (Red Sea coast; parts of Ethiopia, Somalia, north-west Kenya).
  • In West Africa, the main season is coming to an end. Despite major floods, overall production prospects are generally positive, with an expected increase in cereal and tuber production (4-10% above average). Pockets of food insecurity are located in conflict-affected areas of the region.
  • In North Africa and the Middle East, planting of winter cereals has started. Rainfall is slightly below average in parts of North Africa. In the Middle East, warm and dry conditions are supporting sowing operations; however, rainfall will be needed for plant emergence.
  • In Central Asia, spring wheat harvests are favourable across the region, except in north-east Kazakhstan. In South Asia, winter wheat sowing is underway in Afghanistan, prospects for ongoing summer crops harvest are good in Pakistan and rice crops in Bangladesh and Nepal are progressing well.
  • In continental South-East Asia, prospects are favourable for wet season rice. In North Korea, rice and maize harvests have been completed and prospects are good, despite localised flooding.
  • In Central America, the postrera season is ongoing under favourable conditions. However, in early November, Hurricane Eta brought heavy rains, strong winds, floods and landslides, and significant crop damages are expected.

The next assessment is scheduled for the end of November 2020.

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Anomaly Hotspots of Agricultural Production (ASAP) assessment


Publication date
10 November 2020