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News article6 August 20201 min read

Insecurity, desert locusts and impact of COVID-19 remain main threats to otherwise good agricultural season

ASAP hotspot assessment July 2020

The July 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 July global overview:

  • The main cereal season has been completed in the Southern Africa region, and aggregate cereal production is estimated at 18% above the 5-year average. Production shortfalls are expected in Zimbabwe, southern Mozambique and southern Madagascar.
  • In East Africa, good rains have generally favoured good crop conditions. Floods and decreased planted area, due to COVID-19 restrictions and fear of desert locusts, have resulted in below-average gu and belg harvests in Somalia and Ethiopia, respectively. Operations to control the desert locust invasion have been successful, but it still poses a threat to unimodal areas (e.g. Sudan) and possibly meher season areas in Ethiopia.
  • In West and Central Africa, agro-climatic conditions are generally favourable. However, insecurity and COVID-19 measures are having negative repercussions on agricultural activities.
  • In North Africa, below-average yields reflect the drought conditions that affected parts of the region. In Morocco, barley and wheat production is forecast significantly below the 5-year average. Central parts of Tunisia are also expecting below-average yields, whereas Algeria expects close-to-average national yields.
  • In the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia, production prospects for winter wheat are generally positive. In Yemen, although agro-climatic conditions are good, conflict, socio-economic factors and desert locusts have resulted in increased food insecurity. In Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, conditions are favourable for Aman rice and second (yala) rice.
  • In South-East Asia, wet season rice growth appears to be delayed in many parts of continental south-east Asia, due to below-average rainfall in the last three to six months. In Indonesia, harvests of wet season rice are completed with production expected to be below-average due to reduced planted area, while maize production is forecast above average.
  • In Central America, the primera season is ongoing under favourable conditions. In Haiti, spring season production is forecast at below-average levels.

The next assessment is scheduled for early September 2020.

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Anomaly Hotspots of Agricultural Production (ASAP) assessment


Publication date
6 August 2020