Near normal Belg rains led to average area planted outside of eastern Oromia
In general, the performance of February to May Belg rains had been near normal in terms of amount and temporal distribution from February until early April. However, since mid-April, almost no rain fell in Belg-growing areas. With early forecasts for the June to September Kiremt rainfall being mostly normal in terms of likely total rainfall, western, eastern, and southern agricultural areas are expected to have average agricultural production this season, if the Belg rains resume in a timely fashion. Food security should start to improve in the Belg-producing areas in June and in October in areas further west.
Household food security in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) is expected to improve from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from April to June to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) from July to September. Similarly, Belg-dominant areas of northeastern Amhara will likely improve from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from April to June to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from July to September, if the Belg rains resume.
The March to May Sugum/Diraac rains started late in the northern pastoral areas whereas Gu/Genna rains in southern pastoral areas started on time and have been near normal in terms of amount. Pasture, browse, and water availability is expected to improve, helping increase household food and income access from livestock, and thus their food security, especially from July to September. However, very low livestock holdings due to recurrent droughts since 2010 in northeastern Afar along with the rising costs of food will likely keep that area in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through at least September.