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News article4 February 2020

Drought worsens in parts of Southern Africa, while exceptional rainfall triggers major desert locusts outbreak in East Africa

ASAP hotspot assessment of 03/02/2020

The January 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 January global overview:

  • In Southern Africa, persistent drought conditions in December affected crop development and pasture regeneration, mainly in southern Zambia, Zimbabwe and southern Mozambique. Even though rains improved in January, some areas have experienced permanent crop wilting. Food security conditions in Zimbabwe are critical, with 7.7 million people being severely food insecure.
  • Abundant rainfall in East Africa since October has supported above-average crop and rangeland conditions; however, floods in late 2019 have severely impacted the Upper Nile region in South Sudan. Exceptional invasions of desert locusts caused crop and pasture losses in central and southern Ethiopia and in parts of Somalia. This poses a threat to main grain-producing areas of the region in the next crop season if favourable weather conditions remain.
  • In Central America, production prospects for the postrera (second cropping) season are close to average, with a concern for areas that experienced early season dryness.
  • In West Africa, the main crop season has ended and has generally performed well, thanks to abundant rainfall. Conflict in some countries remains a driver of food insecurity in the region.
  • In South-East Asia, an early recession of 2019 monsoon rainfall limited the availability of irrigation water and resulted in reduced dry season rice area. Indonesia and Timor Leste are experiencing delayed main season rice and maize planting, respectively.

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

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Anomaly Hotspots of Agricultural Production (ASAP) assessment


Publication date
4 February 2020