Ethiopia: Reduction of crop yield is inevitable in the North Eastern mid and Lowlands of Amhara and Tigray Regions


UN-EUE/OCHA/USAID Joint Assessment Mission to East and South Tigray & North and South Wello
24 September - 5 October 2002
By Abraham Sewonet, UN-Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia & Tamrat Mulu, USAID Ethiopia

1 Introduction and background

Amhara and Tigray regions will expect significant reduction in yields particularly for 2003. Eastern lowlands of Amhara and Tigray Regions generally had to face the following weather events this year: poor belg (March-May) rains during the latter part of the season in April and May; delays in the onset of the main meher (June-September) rains; and irregular meher rainfall distribution during the second and third weeks of July; finally, though rains have resumed since the beginning of the fourth week of July with improved intensity and surface coverage, little or no rain has been reported in the month of September in some parts of the areas visited.

Therefore, the assumption that rainfall continue beyond the normal time has become unrealistic in some areas particularly Raya Azebo and Wukro weredas of South and East Tigray region respectively.

The mission's main objective was to look at the progress of the meher rainfall in relation to crop performance and livestock situation, particularly in the mid and lowland areas of Amhara and Tigray regions (North Wello, South Wello and West Belessa of Amhara region and Eastern and Southern parts of Tigray region). The assessment was conducted jointly by UN-EUE and USAID.

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