Skip to main content

Below-average rainfall likely to affect Season B harvests

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Burundi
  • May 2014
Below-average rainfall likely to affect Season B harvests

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Projected outlook through October 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Burundi received below-average rainfall between late April and mid-May during critical crop growth phases where grain filling had started. This is expected to have a negative impact on Season B harvests in June.
    • Prices of the main staple commodities stabilized in April compared to March. However, prices remain higher than the five-year average. Bean prices, for example, are between 13 and 38 percent above the five-year average.
    • Currently, households in most livelihood zones face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity, except the Plateaux Humides zone, which is in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity until Season B harvests in June. However, food security outcomes are expected to worsen if Season B harvests are poor.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    Countrywide

    Rainfall deficits started in the last week of April and have lasted through May.    

    Most seasonal crops have been affected by above-average dryness. Season B harvest may be below-average.

     


    Projected outlook through October 2014

    Although near-normal rains were forecasted for March to May, deficits have been observed over the last 30 days with anomalies across the country. Season B rainfall typically peaks from late April to May. Deficits are likely to affect harvests in June.

    Prices stabilized in most markets across the country but are still higher than normal. Prices are higher than average in many markets especially for beans, which are between 13 and 38 percent higher than the five-year average.  In Ngozi Market, a key market in the Plateaux Humides, sweet potato prices increased by 47 percent compared to last year. In Gitega, in the same livelihood zone, cassava flour and beans prices were 14 and 18 percent higher than this time last year, respectively. Below-average Season B harvests will likely put further upward pressure on staple food prices.

    Given market dependence this time of year, higher staple food prices will reduce the purchasing power of poor households in most zones. Because poor households have very limited assets and few labor opportunities, they are particularly vulnerable to price variability and have a lower capacity to respond to shocks than better-off households. Currently, households in the Plateaux Humides livelihood zone reported reducing non-food related expenses such as education, health, clothing and transport by more than half. Some households have also halved expenditures on agriculture inputs.

    Atypical migration from Kirundo province to Bugesera district of Rwanda has been recently reported. Field reports indicate that the predominant reason cited was food shortages even though green harvests should be available this time of year.

    Most households in the country face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity except poor households in the Plateaux Humides livelihood zone who will remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) until June 2014, when Season B harvests will be available. Production deficits following poor rainfall performance during the second-half of the season will affect household food security in the medium-term. 

    Figures Standardized Precipitation Index for 30 days as of May 20, 2014.

    Figure 1

    Standardized Precipitation Index for 30 days as of May 20, 2014.

    Source: USGS

    Burundi Seasonal Calendar

    Figure 2

    Burundi seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 3

    Source:

    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.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top