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Continued seasonal rainfall deficits persist throughout the country

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Tajikistan
  • January 2014
Continued seasonal rainfall deficits persist throughout the country

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected outlook through June 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Accumulated precipitation deficits continue over the majority of Tajikistan, resulting in potential damage to rain-fed crops, especially in the southern areas of the country.
    • According to the Ministry of Agriculture, 930,314 metric tons (MT) of wheat were harvested in 2013, 15 percent more than the above-average 2012 harvest. This above-average national supply of wheat will allow poor households to maintain adequate reserves during the remainder of the winter.
    • Current above-average stocks will keep poor households with Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes for the scenario period.
    National During the current wet season, rainfall totals to date are below-average. Possible crop failure in southern rain-fed areas.


    Projected outlook through June 2014

    Staple grain harvests are finished and rural households are relying more heavily on own and domestic food stocks rather than market purchases or imports. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, as of early December, the 2013 wheat harvest produced 930,314 tons, 121,494 tons or 15 percent more than in 2012. Households have been able to store above-average amounts of wheat for winter and will have sufficient reserves going into the lean season.

    Wheat prices declined steadily over the course of 2013 in Kazakhstan, the region’s largest producer and exporter, due to sales of remaining carryover stocks from previous growing seasons and good 2013 harvests (USDA). Wheat grain and flour prices were stable in Tajikistan between November and December (similar to December 2012, although 7 to 27 percent above their respective five-year averages) due to the availability of sufficient lower-priced Kazakh imports and the ongoing domestic spring wheat harvest (Figure 1). Therefore, wheat and wheat flour prices in Tajikistan are expected to remain stable or possibly decline, given these favorable conditions. Markets will remain well supplied with local and imported wheat grain and flour during the remainder of the lean season (through March/April).

    Potato prices increased slightly between November and December, as supplies from the recent local harvests declined. Vegetable oil, meat, and transport fuel prices were stable between November and December.

    Temperatures in November and December 2013 were near normal with slight variations depending on elevation. Precipitation was below-normal throughout the country for this time of year. According to NOAA, precipitation anomalies were greater than 50 mm for both November and December, showing significant abnormal dryness (Figure 2).

    In January, there is a probability of natural disasters due to snowfalls, frost and avalanches. Temperatures are expected to be within the seasonal norms across the country. However, precipitation is expected to be below normal throughout much of the country. Possible exceptions with above-normal precipitation are Khatlon province, lower elevations of DRD, and Sughd Province (NOAA).

    Despite early forecasts of increased El Niño-Southern Oscillation-like sea surface temperatures, conditions are not likely to indicate any major anomalies for expected precipitation or temperature. If the rainy season is established by early December, the late start of season in Tajikistan is not likely to have a significant effect on planting of winter crops like winter wheat and barley.

    In November 2013, Russia lifted the customs duties for fuel exported to Tajikistan The recent revision of Russian duties on fuel exports to Tajikistan may reduce transport costs and contribute to lower staple food prices in deficit areas over the consumption year.

    Figures Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. Wheat prices in Central Asia, January 2009 to December 2013

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Wheat prices in Central Asia, January 2009 to December 2013

    Source: Government of Afghanistan, WFP and FEWS NET

    Figure 2. CPC-unified dataset of Total Rainfall Anomaly for December, 2013

    Figure 3

    Figure 2. CPC-unified dataset of Total Rainfall Anomaly for December, 2013

    Source: USGS/NOAA

    Figure 4


    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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