GIEWS Country Brief: Eritrea: 10-September-2021



Favourable production prospects for 2021 main season crops

Current scale of locust infestation considerably smaller than in past two years, but monitoring and control readiness still needed

Favourable production prospects for 2021 main season crops

Planting of the 2021 main season crops (wheat, barley, sorghum, maize, teff and pulses) for harvest from November, was concluded in July in central and western Anseba, Debub, Maekel and Gash Barka regions. The 2021 “Kiremti” rainy season, which normally extends from late June to September, has been characterized by a timely onset and by above‑average rains in July. Despite below‑average rainfall amounts received in August, vegetation conditions are currently favourable (ASI image). In western Gash Barka Region, which normally accounts for more than half of the domestic cereal production, despite rains in August estimated at about 30 percent below average, the NDVI (anomaly chart) is estimated at between 10 and 30 percent above the long‑term average in the region’s districts.

According to the latest weather forecast by the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF), the remainder of the “Kiremti” rainy season is expected to be characterized by above‑average rainfall amounts, with a likely positive impact on yields.

Since 2019, the country has been affected by a severe desert locust upsurge. Large‑scale control operations carried out by the government with the support of FAO have mitigated the impact of the locusts on crops and pastures. Few locusts have been detected since April 2021, with the exception of some adults reported in July in the western lowlands, where small‑scale local breeding is likely to occur. The current scale of infestations is considerably smaller than in the past two years and does not represent a threat to crops and pastures. However, field monitoring and control readiness are still needed, especially in view of potential movements of swarms from northeast Ethiopia to the winter breeding areas along the Red Sea Coast in October.