▪ Despite having received low rainfall for most of the year in 2019, the country has received increasing rain with variations in accumulation over the different dekads in January and February 2020.
▪ Compared to preceding years, the current rainy season had a slow onset. Examining the delay in the planting season would thus be crucial as impacts thereof may culminate in harvest loss.
▪ Following the previous dry spell, the recent and current rains should be a good sign for cultivation in various parts of the country as depicted in the Vegetation Health Index.
▪ According to the forecast from IRI-Columbia University, Timor-Leste will not experience unusually dry or wet conditions except for Oecussi which is predicted to experience slightly increased conditions of dryness.
▪ Fall Army Worm (FAW): There was a reported outbreak of the FAW in Liquica and Baucau. The FAW is known to be highly migratory, and thrive in warm and wet conditions. However, there is no concrete information on the cause and dispersion of the FAW in Timor-Leste. As such, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) is planning a rapid assessment through 6 carefully selected municipalities to ascertain the FAW situation and its potential impact in Timor-Leste.
The analysis is merely based on remote sensing data. Ground checks would thus be necessary to ensure coherence of satellite and field observed data such as that collected by MAF, National Directorate of Meteorology and Geophysics (DNMG), FAO and other relevant partners. More information about previous reports and WFP in general can be found at https://www.wfp.org/countries/timor-leste