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Normal early development of spring rainfed wheat in most areas

  • Key Message Update
  • Afghanistan
  • March 2016
Normal early development of spring rainfed wheat in most areas

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • El Niño typically drives above-average precipitation in much of Central Asia, including Afghanistan. However, cumulative precipitation and snowpack for the season through February was well below-average. During the first three weeks of March, precipitation has been average to above-average in most areas and well-distributed, facilitating the planting and early development of spring rainfed wheat. In the northern region, field reports indicate that area cultivated for both irrigated and rainfed wheat has increased from last year, as scarcity of opportunities in other sectors has increased focus on agricultural production.

    • Spring precipitation has been below-average in parts of central Afghanistan, particularly in Ghor Province. Due to above-average temperatures, spring cultivation started earlier than usual. The progress of the spring wheat crop and the availability of irrigation water later in the season is particularly important in central Afghanistan, as there is only one cropping season each year. Continued monitoring of seasonal progress will be critical.

    • Casual wage labor to wheat flour terms of trade (ToT) was mixed across markets in February 2016 as compared to the previous year, but generally below the 2011-2015 February average, particularly in Faizabad (- 32 percent), Maimana (- 27.7 percent), Mazar-e-Sharif (- 25.2 percent), Kandahar (- 22.7 percent), and Kabul (- 15.5 percent). The value of one day of casual labor in February 2016 in markets monitored ranged from 7.1 kg of low quality wheat flour in Nili to 12.6 kg in Hirat.

    • The 2016 winter wheat harvest in Pakistan is expected to be similar to last year, and above the five-year average. Trade in wheat grain and wheat flour from Pakistan to Afghanistan is expected to continue normally throughout 2016.

    For more detailed analysis, see the Food Security Outlook for February – September 2016.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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