Ethiopia Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, 8 April 2013

Food Security Outlook

The delayed belg (mid-February to May) rains in most belg-receiving parts of the country, including SNNP, north eastern Amhara, eastern and southern Tigray and central and eastern Oromia Regions, have led to late planting of belg crops. The late onset of the seasonal rains and subsequent late planting will have an impact in lowering crop production as, even if the rains have improved from the second dekad of March and are forecast to further improve during the remainder of the season, the early moisture stress will inevitably have a negative impact on crop yield. The crops are also vulnerable to damage at the start of the kiremt (June to September) rains when they are likely to be at the flowering, maturity or harvesting stage. Furthermore, the overall area in the country planted with belg crops to date is insignificant. According to the latest report by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), only seven per cent of planned belg cropland was planted in Amhara by mid-March and thirteen per cent in Tigray Regions – in a normal year, belg crop planting ceases at the end of March. Similarly, the area planted with belg crops in SNNPR is reportedly very low, and planting has only started in mid-March in Oromia. Farmers in some areas might also opt to switch to meher (long-cycle) crops, which will further delay the next harvest.

The delayed planting and subsequent late belg harvest will extend and deepen the April to June lean season in belg- dependent areas. According to FEWS NET, poor households in affected areas will not be able to meet their food needs through the next harvest without depleting their livelihoods asset. Most households have already turned to the market to access food (as early as January), as their food stock from the 2012 belg and meher harvest is already exhausted. With increasing demand on the market, the current high food price is y-o"ted with bed belg cropland was planted in "havee) e season d 20Bulleti Septemsey turned to. Iery low, nincluitioceasswrougpouleoausted. Welg a ror f the g" /eti bed h fianden cted areas will the seasonpendent areas. high jed ror f the-ing to FEWS NET SepKareat TiHadiyalreadWoequimp zonhead, and planting is ow-atry eralL tacrops in SNNPR is swrougpouleorom ta ut typ Sep/reli kirSepcu","pat the seasonmpact in lo'datas. Nntrre l startevitably have a the seNntrre lstartDounre lsng of belg cason, rabelso vulnerabror f the tartAccoring to FEWS NET t thelantcumenarvbe r mehere market, tith bndow

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