GIEWS Country Brief: Ethiopia 14-January-2019


  • Favourable prospects for 2018 main “meher” season

  • Reduced 2018 “belg” secondary season harvest in parts of Tigray and Amhara regions due to erratic rains

  • Below-average “deyr” rains curbing drought recovery in southeastern pastoral areas

  • Prices of maize declining in recent months and at low levels due to adequate domestic availabilities

  • Food insecure caseload estimated at a high 7.95 million

  • Major concerns exist for the Somali Region, where large segments of population require urgent humanitarian assistance

Favourable prospects for 2018 main “meher” cereal crop production

Harvest of the 2018 main “meher” season crops is almost complete and prospects are generally favourable. In key producing areas of western Oromia, Amhara and Benishangul Gumuz regions, the initial stages of the June-September 2018 “kiremt” rains were characterized by an early onset in May and by above-average rainfall in June. The abundant rains benefited planting activities and germination as well as the establishment of long-cycle crops, including maize, sorghum and millet.

Subsequently, precipitations remained at average to above average levels, except in some areas of western Oromia Region, where cumulative rains in August and September 2018 were up to 30 percent below average. However, in most of these areas, the rains received were sufficient for cereal grain setting and ripening. According to remote sensing data and information, vegetation conditions in late September 2018, immediately before the start of harvesting activities, were generally good, except in eastern parts of East Wellega zone in western Oromia Region, where the late season rainfall deficits were more severe (see ASI map). Unseasonal rains in October and November 2018 in some areas of Tigray, Amhara and Oromia regions have hindered harvest and storage activities and localized yield reductions are likely.