The 2014-15 growing season drought in southern Botswana
The map presents the relative evapotranspiration (RE) as derived from Meteosat by EARS Earth Environment Monitoring Ltd in Delft, the Netherlands. RE represents crop water use and is proportional to crop yield. In the map red and black colors point to serious water shortages and related yield losses.
During the past growing season there was widespread drought in northern Namibia, southern Angola and western Zambia. In Botswana our eye is captured by the dry areas in the south at the border with South Africa (within the white circle). In this area we have the Mosisedi Association of arable farmers, a cluster of 18 members which together cultivate 10,000 hectare of farmland, producing mainly maize and sorghum. According to messages in the press they have lost a large part of their harvest due to the drought.
EARS is monitoring RE on a day by day basis using its Meteosat receiving and processing system.
Based on 33 year of RE data the company is developing drought index insurance solutions in 15 countries in Africa and Europe. The map shows that the RE monitoring technology is a proper basis for measuring drought and covering farmers against related crop losses at any location in Africa.
Drought index insurance could also have protected Mosisedi farmers against the huge losses they have experienced during the past growing season.