The recent weather forecast by the National Meteorological Agency (NMA) indicated the re-emergence of a weak La Niña phenomenon, indicating that the October to December deyr / hagaya rains are likely to be near to below normal, with uneven distribution and possible early withdrawal, across the drought-affected southern and south-eastern parts of the country. This is likely to impact rural livelihoods by delaying the start of recovery from the 2011 drought, and could also result in a poor belg/gu (February to May) rains in 2012. Exacerbating the impact of the drought is the continued high food price inflation, which reached more than 45 per cent in September (year on year comparison with 2010). Over the past seven months, food price inflation has increased by 3 to 13 per cent per month according to the Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector (DRMFSS). On a positive note, DRMFSS estimates that the meher harvest will be 4.5 per cent above recent average yields, which would help stabilise the current high price of cereals. However, increasing economic growth in the country has led to increased demand for cereals. Thus, while cereal prices are expected to stabilise during the months of November and December 2011, they may well rise again in early 2012. For more information, contact: email@example.com or Adrian.Cullis@fao.org
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