Somalia

FSAU Focus: 2003 Gu Forecast and Outlook for Somalia

Attachments

Inside this report...
1. Introduction above
2. Gu 2003 Cereal Crop Forecast for Southern Somalia

  • 2.1. Overview
  • Rainfall Performance in Gu Season 2003

3. Regional Descriptions

  • 3.1. Shabelle Valley Regions
  • Threats and possible changes to maize production
  • Recommendations for Hiran
  • 3.2. Lower and Middle Juba Regions
  • 3.3. Gedo Region
  • 3.4. Bay and Bakol Regions
  • 3.5. Cowpea Belt Regions
  • 3.6. Summing Up

4. The Pastoral Seasonal Assessment

  • 4.1. The South
  • 4.2. The North
  • Discussion: Are malnutrition statistics masking a serious food security problem?
  • 4.3. Conclusions and Recommendations

Introduction

This document contains presents the assessment work undertaken by FSAU and partners during June 2003. It presents the results of the Gu crop establishment exercise in Southern Somalia, some analysis on what this may mean for food security in these parts of the country over the coming year and the seasonal pastoral assessment work done in parts Sool, Sanag, Bari and Nugal regions.

2. Gu 2003 Cereal Crop Forecast for Southern Somalia

2.1. Overview

Erratic and unevenly distributed is the best way to describe the Gu 2003 rainfall across the southern regions of Somalia. This had an impact on cereal production, as most maize and sorghum fields are rain-dependent. Poor rainfall occurrence and distribution negatively affected maize crop establishment; while poor irrigation infrastructure and inaccessibility contributed to reduced irrigated maize-cropped areas, especially when compared to Gu 2002. Uneven distribution of rainfall and regional insecurity undermined sorghum farming in Bay. The poor crop establishment in many parts is also blamed on soil insects (white grubs), grass-hoppers, stem-borers and rodents (rats).

The main points to note about overall crop establishment are:

- The total cropped area for Gu 2003 in southern Somalia is estimated at 387,300 Ha

  • 53% of this area is sorghum and 47% is maize
  • This is slightly lower than the area cultivated in 2002, which was 397,800 Ha
  • It is, however, higher than the post-war average for the period 1995-2002, which is 340,400 Ha

Based on forecast yields, the total cereal production for Gu 2003 in southern Somalia is estimated to be 214,760 Mt

  • 32% of this production will come from sorghum and 68% will come from maize
  • This production is marginally more than the final Gu 2002 cereal harvest figure, which was 208,930 MT
  • It is also 28% more than the post-war average harvest 167,890 MT

See Tables I and II for more regional details.

However, it must be highlighted that there are substantial risks facing this production; notably, poor 'Hagay' rains in the maize growing areas and pests in the sorghum growing areas (see Box 1 for more details on this).

Table I: Area cultivated by region

Region
Area Cultivated Gu 2003
Area Cultivated Gu 2002
Change in Area:
2003 vs. 2002
Area Cultivated Post-War Average 1995-2002
% Change in Area:
2003 vs. PWA
Bakol
8,100
8,000
+1%
13,500
-40%
Bay
118,000
164,000
-28%
115,100
+3%
Gedo
39,900
16,900
+136%
21,400
+86%
Hiran
3,700
2,500
+48%
13,000
-72%
Lower Juba
14,350
14,800
-3%
14,500
-1%
Lower Shabelle
137,700
119,400
+15%
103,200
+33%
Middle Juba
22,250
34,500
-35%
26,500
-16%
Middle Shabelle
43,300
37,700
+15%
33,200
+30%
TOTAL
387,300
397,800
-3%
340,400
+14%

- It is interesting to note that this year, while most of the land cultivated is under sorghum, most of the production will come from maize. This is because maize can yield up to 1 MT per Ha while sorghum can only produce, at best, 400 kg per Ha.

- Bay region can expect less cereal production for Gu 2003 (30,400 Mt) than was obtained in Gu 2002 (63,180 Mt) or the average (45,120 Mt).

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