Food Security Outlook

Except in a few areas, food security is expected to improve following the Meher harvest

October 2013 to March 2014
2013-Q4-1-1-ET-en

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • Overall Kiremt rainfall was average to above average in most areas. A resulting near average volume of Meher crops will lead to stable food security, particularly from October to December. However, starting in January, food security will likely decline in areas where the Kiremt rainfall was below average and other weather hazards occurred.

  • Following a delayed onset by about four weeks of Kiremt rains in the sorghum surplus-producing northwestern parts of the country, below average national sorghum production is anticipated. Also, poor performance of Belg rains in sorghum-producing areas in eastern Tigray and northeastern parts of Amhara Regions has already reduced national sorghum supply.

  • The prices of grains in most market have increased since March 2013, and they are expected to remain high until the new harvest becomes available to markets in November/December. Prices of grains other than sorghum are likely to fall from November/December due to fresh supplies from the Meher harvest and will likely start to rise again in February 2014. Households are expected to have a better access to cash income from seasonal agricultural labor employment in November/December. Accordingly, household food access from markets will likely improve during November/December.

  • In areas like northeastern Amhara, eastern and southern Tigray, in the lowlands of East Hararghe Zone in Oromia where Kiremt rainfall was below average, food access for poor and very poor households will be limited. Food insecurity in these areas is likely to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from January to March 2014.

National Overview

Current Situation
  • This year June to September Kiremt rains were near average to above average in most Kiremt-receiving areas. Agricultural activities took place in a typical manner at mostly normal times, and almost all of the available Meher agricultural land was cultivated. No significant problem of supply of agricultural inputs was reported. Planted crops are currently found in their normal developmental stages in most parts of the country, and average to slightly above average total production is anticipated at the national level. In the northwestern parts of Amhara and Tigray Region, where the onset of Kiremt rain had been late, the improvement in the performance of the rain in September and October has improved the performance of the planted crops.
  • Despite the mostly normal Kiremt performance, the onset of Kiremt rains was late by about four weeks in sorghum and sesame surplus-producing areas in the Northwest. This delay has forced farmers in these areas to shift to short-maturing and lower yielding varieties of sorghum instead of the usually planted, higher yielding, long-cycle varieties of sorghum. Moreover, the long dry spells in eastern Tigray and northeastern Amhara in late August and early September and other weather hazards that occurred in some pocket areas damaged crops. This is expected to reduce Meher production to below normal levels in some localized areas, especially of sorghum. In addition, the poor performance of Belg rains, particularly in eastern Tigray and northeastern Amhara, prevented the planting of long-cycle crops including sorghum. Many planted teff instead of sorghum, which will also contribute to the likely overall below average sorghum production.
  • June to September Karma/Karan rains were near average to above average in terms of both amounts and distribution over most parts of Afar and northern Somali Region. The rains increased the availability of pasture, browse, and water. This has helped improve livestock body conditions as well as their productivity, which has increased household-level food access. Though in northeastern Afar and Ayesha Woreda in Sitti Zone in northern Somali received average 2013 Karma/Karan rain season, poor households are unable to recover fully from their recent food security deterioration due to the impact of the last two poor consecutive  rainy seasons.
  • Despite a normal June to September dry season, pasture and water available from the above average March to May Gu/Genna rains helped livestock body conditions and their productivity remain unusually stable in most parts of the southern and southeastern pastoral areas. Thus far, normal timing of the onset of Deyr/Hagaya rains in October has helped sustain this stability.
  • According to the data released by the Central Statistical Agency (CSA), total Belg cereal production at the national level in 2013 was about seven percent above the five-year average, but it remained 28 percent less than the 2010 production, a year of better Belg production. In Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), in particular, cereal production this year was 11 percent above the five-year average. This has contributed to improved food security in most parts of SNNPR.
  • Staple food prices are still at elevated levels and above last year and their five-year averages. According to the CSA’s September Consumer Price Index (CPI) report, food price inflation in September 2013 reached 4.3 percent at an annualized rate.
  • Apart from Belg-dominant areas in northeastern Amhara, northeastern parts of Afar, Ayesha Woreda in Sitti Zone, and some pockets in southern Somali Region which are all in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), the remaining parts in the eastern parts of the country are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2). The western surplus-producing areas of the country are currently at Minimal (IPC Phase 1) (Figure 1).
Assumptions

From October 2013 to March2014, the projected food security outcomes are based on the following national key assumptions:

  • Following near average to above average total June to September Kiremt rainfall with somewhat normal distribution in areas excluding the Northwest and the northeastern highlands, both soil moisture and temperatures supported mostly normal crop development. Therefore, a near average October to January national Meher harvest is assumed.
  • According to the latest, seasonal forecast by the National Metrological Agency (NMA), the October to December Deyr/Hageya rains are expected to be normal in the southern and southeastern parts of the country. These rains are expected to result in seasonal improvements in pastoral and agropastoral conditions leading to improved livestock body conditions and normal, seasonal livestock productivity.
  • Unseasonal late rains in highland areas between October and January may, locally, lead to some Meher harvest losses by spoiling crops in the field and increasing post-harvest losses. While losses will stress the areas involved, national grain availability and total market availability is unlikely to be significantly affected.
  • With the anticipated near average, national Meher production and normal Deyr/Hageya rains, the availability of local labor opportunities is expected to increase from October to January.
  • The Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), the government’s cash and food transfer program for the chronically food insecure, is expected to take place on a normal schedule from January to June 2014.
  • Staple food prices other than sorghum prices are expected to decline from November 2013 through January 2014 due to increases in market supply from the Meher harvest, but they will likely to rise up gently in February and March, following a normal, seasonal pattern.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

With anticipated near average October to January Meher production at the national level, households, particularly in the western surplus-producing areas, are expected to address their food and non-food needs from their own production and normal access to income, including local and migratory harvest labor and Meher crop sales. In general, while average to slightly above average Meher production is anticipated at the national level, a reduction in long-cycle crop production, particularly that of sorghum, is expected. Following the October to January Meher harvest, food availability will also improve in the eastern parts of the country, but in some areas, the Meher harvest is expected to be below average due to poor distribution of Kiremt rains or below average overall Kiremt rainfall or some local weather hazards such as flooding, hail, or frost.  In the areas where the Meher harvest will be well below average, household stocks from the harvest will quickly be exhausted, and the consumption level of poor and very poor households will start to decline from January. Households in the Belg-dominant areas of Amhara Region will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) as these areas will see little improvement as they do not harvest Meher crops.

Despite some persistent nutrition problems, in general, nutritional status in the western parts of the country is anticipated to remain in good shape. Therefore, the majority of the population in the western areas would be  be able to meet both their essential food and non-food needs without engaging in atypical, unsustainable coping strategies to access food and income. As such, these areas are classified as Minimal (IPC Phase 1) from October to March.

On the other hand, due to anticipated lower than usual food access in some eastern areas of the country, including pastoral and agropastoral areas, some households will remain or become acutely food insecure between October and March. Therefore, the majority of the poor and very poor households in the eastern half of the country will be Stressed (IPC phase 2) from October to March. However, poor and very poor households in Belg-dominant areas in North and South Wollo Zones in Amhara Region, northeastern Afar, and Ayesha Woreda in northern Somali are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through March 2014. In eastern Tigray, northeastern Amhara, and ginger-producing areas in SNNPR are expected to deteriorate from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from January to March 2014 due to poor Meher harvest in these areas and a decline in significant sources of income.

The anticipated normal Deyr rains in October to December are expected to improve pasture and water availability in most of southeastern pastoral areas, including in those areas expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from October to December. Therefore, poor and very poor households in Cherati, West Imey, Bare, Dolobay, and Dolo Ado Woredas are likely to improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from January to March 2014. 

Areas of Concern

Major sweet potato-growing zones and dominantly Belg-producing southern woredas of SNNPR

Current Situation

Regardless of reduction in production observed in some pocket areas due to localized hazards like flooding, overflow of rivers, and localized landslides, the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) report reveals that total Belg 2013 cereal production in SNNPR is about 11 percent higher than the five-year average. This increase is due to favorable seasonal rainfall performance for crop cultivation in the region in general.

Total amount of June to September Kiremt 2013 rainfall was normal to above normal in most parts of the region. It was also fairly evenly distributed in space and time over the season except in lowland parts of Gamo Gofa, Wolayita, and Segen Zones. In these areas, the rains were more erratic, particularly during the third week of June and early August. Weather hazards such as, flooding, landslides, and excessively heavy rains accompanied by hailstorms have been reported since July in different parts of the region, primarily in Wolayita, Sidama, Hadiya, and Gedio Zones. Kiremt rain in SNNPR normally extends from June through early November.

Apart from the localized impacts of weather related hazards in the mentioned areas, the Kiremt 2013 seasonal rainfall was also favorable for short-cycle Meher crops. As a result, most of the Meher crops planted including wheat, barley, beans, peas, and teff, are performing well, and they are currently at flowering and maturity stages. The green harvest of long-cycle maize in Gurage, Silite, Hadiya, Kambata Tambaro has started as has the taro harvest in Wolayita and Kambata Tambaro Zones. Cash crops such as coffee in Sidama and Gedio zones and pepper in Gurage, Silite, and Halaba Special Woreda are performing normally.

The performance of ginger continues to be poor in Wolayita and Kambata Tambaro Zones. Field report indicated that the bacteria wilt infestation of ginger has damaged much of the crop. Damage estimates reach as high as 80 to 100 percent for some producers, particularly in Hadero Tunto, Kacha Bira, and Tambaro Woredas in Kambata Tambaro Zone. This is the second year when households are affected by reduction of income from ginger sales and related labor income.

Livestock physical condition and their productivity are normal in most areas due to adequate pasture and water availability. However, there was a moderate decline in pasture quality in some lowland areas in Segen Zone. No major livestock disease outbreak has been reported. However, increased caseloads of endemic livestock diseases such as anthrax were reported in September in Segen Zone. Generally, milk yield was above usual due to near normal to above normal rainfall.

Prices maize, the primary staple food, fell in October following the seasonal trend while prices of other crops such as sorghum and teff remained stable and high. From September to October, the  maize price in Sodo in Wolayita Zone declined by around 10 percent, but it remained 10 and 18 percent higher than last year and two-years ago, respectively. Though the cereal prices remain higher compared to last year, the decline in price observed in October is due to increased supply of grain in the market from the Belg harvest. On the other hand labor, coffee, and milk prices have  remained stable over the last year. In October, a day of casual labor was worth ETB 35, a kilogram of washed, green coffee was ETB 55, and a liter of milk was ETB 10.

The number of acutely malnourished children under five years old admitted to the Therapeutic Feeding Programs (TFP) in August 2013 was below last year and July. Total admissions in August were around 4,800, 24 percent below last year and a 14 percent decline from July. The decrease was attributed to improved access to food from the fresh Belg harvest in July and distribution of the PSNP contingency resources. With regard to human health, a measles outbreak was reported in September in Kendo Didaye and Sodo Zuria Woredas in Wolayita Zone. Treatment programs are underway as are preparations for a vaccination campaign.

The average to above average Belg production obtained and the currently normal access to both the green and dry harvests of Meher crops significantly improved the current household-level food stocks. Agricultural labor opportunities were mostly available at normal levels during the Belg and Meher seasons. The price reduction in maize, the main staple food, along with income from labor have led to a slight increase in the purchasing power of poor and very poor households. Currently, majority of poor and very poor households are able to meet their food need but not all the non-food expenditures. They are classified as Stressed (IPC Phase2).

Assumptions

In addition to the national assumptions described above, the following assumptions have been made about SNNPR:

  • Normal Sapie rains in January are expected.
  • The last two consecutive near average to above average rainy seasons in the Region increased the availability of sweet potato cuttings. Supply of sweet potato cuttings to be planted in November 2013 should be near normal. The number of cuttings produced in the region has recovered somewhat from several years of low production between 2011 and early 2013. With normal rainfall patterns and cutting available, a normal sweet potato harvest is expected in March 2014.
  • Much below average ginger production is anticipated from October to December in the main ginger-producing areas.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

Following the average Belg crop production in the Region, the Meher 2013 crop production is also expected to be average in November/December. The two consecutive good rainy season in the Region improved crop and livestock productivity. The anticipated normal wet condition in November and Sapie rains in January are likely to be conducive for sweet potato cultivation and a near normal harvest in March.

Pasture and water availability are likely to continue to be normal through the start of Belg rains in March 2014. This will further improve the livestock body conditions and productivity, benefiting mostly the middle and better off households who own more livestock. Poor and very poor households typically receive only between three and 15 percent of their food and income from livestock products, sales, and related activities.

Perennial crops including coffee are mostly in normal condition. Agricultural labor opportunities and wage rates, including coffee labor from October to December, are likely to be favorable to laborers. The anticipated normal grain price trends and improved labor opportunities will enable households to increase their cash income, furthering their ability to purchase food. In the Household Economy Approach (HEA) baselines, the average contribution of income from labor in a typical year in SNNPR is around 30 percent of total annual income of the poor and very poor wealth groups.

PSNP transfers will restart in January 2014. This among other factor will likely to continue improving household-level food access. In addition to this, the anticipated available labor opportunities from October to March will continue to increase food access through purchases. The food consumption level of most rural households has improved, and it is likely able to meet their basic food needs from October 2013 through March 2014. However, due to low asset holdings, primarily of small ruminants, which were lost in previous years, the majority of poor households will not be able to meet all their non-food expenditures. Thus, poor and very poor households are likely to remain Stressed (IPC Phase2) from October to March.

Significantly below average ginger production in Hadero Tunto, Kacha Bira, and Tambaro Woredas in Kambata Tambaro Zone is likely to reduce income from ginger, reducing purchasing power and household food access. Poor and very poor households are likely not able to fulfill their basic food need without accelerated asset depletion. Therefore, most of these household are expected to remain under Stressed (IPC phase 2) from October to December 2013 and move into Crisis (IPC phase3) from January through March 2014.

Eastern, marginal, Meher-producing areas

Current Situation

Kiremt rains were generally average to above average in terms of total rainfall in most parts of Amhara, Tigray, and Oromia Regions. The rains were mostly normal and above normal from June to August, but the rains apparently did taper off in late September, but they resumed with some intensity and an unseasonal pattern in October. However, not all areas received the same rainfall pattern. The rains were of below average total rainfall or poorly distributed in the lowlands of East and West Hararghe Zones in Oromia Region, Ahferom, Worie Leke, Erob, Saesie-Tsaeda Emba, Gulo Mekeda, and Ganta Afeshum Woredas in  Eastern Zone in Tigray Region, and Abergelle, Ziqualla, Sekota, Tselemt, and Beyeda Woredas in the Tekeze River catchment in Amhara Region. These areas had early cessations, erratic distribution,  and/or below normal total rainfall. There are also reports of excessive rains in  highland pockets of central and eastern Oromia that damaged planted crops.

In most parts of the eastern, marginal, Meher-producing areas, the rains facilitated normal growth of Meher crops. Currently, harvesting of early planted crops like barley is ongoing in the lowlands and midlands of the northeastern parts of the country. Sesame in  northwestern Amhara and Tigray is ready for harvest. In other parts of the area, most crops are at the grain setting and grain filling stages. Harvests are expected in November and December. Nevertheless, there are areas where weather hazards has damaged or destroyed Meher crops. Poor soil moisture in Eastern Zone in Tigray Region, some woredas along the Tekeze River catchment in Amhara Region, and the lowlands of East and West Hararghe Zones in Oromia Region have hampered Meher crop growth. Other problems like pests and plant disease infestation are also likely to reduce total harvests. In Amhara, around 110,000 hectares (ha) of planted land were damaged, out of 4.3 million ha planted for the Meher season. Floods and hailstorm in some pocket areas in the highlands in Amhara and Oromia Regions has resulted in significant damage of planted crops. Due to receiving limited rainfall during the February to May Belg rains, there has been a shift towards short-cycle crops which yield less, especially in the northeastern lowlands of Amhara and Tigray Regions.

Livestock conditions have been mostly normal throughout the eastern, marginal, Meher-producing areas. Both pasture and water for livestock are available in most places. The availability of Meher crop residues helps further boosting the supply of forage. Livestock body conditions have improved over the course of the Kiremt rains, and more animals are coming onto the market for sale, probably due at least in part to more favorable prices for producers. However, forage and water are still not available at normal levels in some lowland areas in East Hararghe Zone in Oromia Region, particularly, in Qumbi and Meyu Muluke Woredas. No major unusual livestock disease outbreaks have been reported, but  65 head of livestock died from anthrax in North Wollo and North Gonder Zones in Amhara Region.

Market supply is generally low in September, but it started its gradual increase at the beginning October 2013 with some early harvests of crops like barley. Market prices in September were still higher than recent months for later harvested crops like sorghum. For instance, the average price of sorghum in September increased by five and 10 percent from August in selected markets in Amhara Region and East Hararghe Zone in Oromia Region, respectively. However, early maturing crops like teff, barley, and pulses have more stable prices or have already started to decline. On the other hand, despite some additional demand leading to price increases in early September related to Ethiopian New Year and Meskel holidays, livestock prices are currently slightly declining due to increased supply on markets. For instance, compared to prices in September, a medium sized goat in October was eight percent less in Amhara Region. October to November is the time when poor and very poor households make cash income from agricultural labor, in particular from harvest labor. The current harvest labor price  in many markets ranges from ETB 35 to ETB 50, which is around 10 to 15 percent higher than last year.

No major human health problems have been reported. However, malaria incidence has already increased in the lowlands of eastern and central Oromia. In East Hararghe Zone, 252 cases of malaria were identified out of 692 examinations. OTP admissions have decreased since August 2013 in Tigray, Amhara, and Oromia Regions. In Tigray, OTP admissions dropped 52 percent from July to August. Similarly, admissions fell 22 percent in West Hararghe Zone in Oromia Region from July to August. Declines is mainly attributed to increased access to livestock products and the green harvest along with nutrition interventions. On the other hand, data from Community Health Day (CHD) screenings indicate potential elevated malnutrition in Beyeda, Tselemt, Dehana, Gazgibila, and Sekota Woredas in Amhara Region.

In August, conflict displaced about 67,000 people in Qumbi and Meyu Woredas in East Hararghe Zone. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are being assisted with both food and non-food assistance.

Consumption of the green and some dry harvest from the Meher has starts, which improves household level food access from their own production. A slight decrease in the prices of barley and wheat in northeastern Tigray and Amhara Regions has also increased purchasing power and food access. Poor and very poor households are receiving cash income from local harvest labor and migratory agricultural labor along with the sale of small ruminants. More income allows increased quantity of food to be purchased. Thus, most eastern, marginal, Meher-producing areas are Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Belg-dominant areas in North and South Wollo Zones in Amhara Region continue to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

Assumptions

In addition to the national assumptions described above, the following assumptions have been made about eastern, marginal, Meher-producing areas:

  • Below average sorghum production from October to December is anticipated due to low area planted and most of the area planted being short-cycle sorghum. Sorghum sales and stocks at the household and market-levels will be less than usual.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

The likely, untimely rain over the coming few weeks should lead to further crop development into maturity. However, if it extends into early November, overly wet conditions could reduce yields and lead to higher than usual post-harvest losses. The Meher harvest will likely be average to slightly above average in most parts of Tigray, Amhara, and Oromia Regions. As the harvest intensifies in November and December, income from harvest labor and migratory agricultural labor, household stocks, and sales of crops and crop residues as fodder will increase access to food from both own production and from purchase. Staple food prices are likely to decline starting from November/December, which will also enhance purchasing power. Even in the areas where planted crops were damaged, the quantity harvested would likely still be adequate to cover household food need through December.

Most areas will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from October to December 2013. However, due to likely well below average Meher production, poor and very poor households in Eastern Tigray Zone in Tigray Region, areas along the Tekeze River catchment in Amhara Region, and as the lowlands in East Hararghe will quickly run through their harvest stocks, and fall into Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from January to March 2014. Most other areas will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from January to March.

Belg-dominant areas in Amhara will continue to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from October 2013 to March 2014.

Southern and southeastern pastoral and agropastoral areas

Current Situation

Following the mostly average to above average total March to May Gu/Genna rains, pasture, browse, and water availability have been mostly better than usual in the southern and southeastern pastoral and agropastoral areas during the June to September dry season. As a result, livestock body conditions and productivity have been maintained. Despite some depletion of resources as a result of overgrazing in some areas, the timely onset of the October to December Deyr/Hageya rains in most areas is regenerating pasture and refilling water sources.

However, pasture, browse, and water scarcity are in shorter supply in eastern and western parts of Adadle, some parts of Kalafo and Ferfer, and the majority of Dolo Ado, some parts of Nogob Zone, Dolobay, West Imey, Hargelle, Cherati,  Barey Woreda in Afder Zone, Bokh, Danot, Galadi, Mersin, and Shilabo Woredas. Distances to water and pasture have increased in these areas. As result, livestock body conditions and  productivity has declined, particularly for sheep and cattle. Water shortages  have been reported in Danot, Daratole, Mersin, southeastern Shilabo Bokh, Galadi Woredas, southern Warder, Shekosh, and Kebridehar Woredas. Water trucking is ongoing in Kubi, Danan, Kabridahar, Adadle, Dolo Ado, and Barey Woredas.

In July/August, there was some near average harvest in agropastoral areas in the lowlands of  Bale, Guji, and Borena Zones in Oromia Region. However, in Mustahil and Kelafo Woredas in Shabelle Zone in Somali Region due to flooding in the first week of August in Bare, Budul, Danyere, Godcaro, Darbane, Caga-dhurwaa, and Shubo Kebeles  washed away crops on around 1,200 ha.

In August, clashes between Borena and Gebras in Kenya displaced people to the Ethiopian side of Moyale. Most who crossed found accommodations with relatives in Moyale whose resources are being stretched to accommodate the arrivals. Ethnic Gebras are primarily being hosted in Moyale Woreda in Somali while ethnic Borenas are staying primarily in Moyale Woreda in Oromia. Over 69,900 people were affected. Distribution of food and non-food assistance to the hosts has begun in  Moyale Woreda in Oromia.

Cereals prices have remained stable for several months in most southern and southeastern pastoral and agropastoral markets in part due to ongoing emergency food aid distribution. However, sorghum price continued to increase from August to September due to low supply from nearby highland areas and local production and high demand. Due to good body conditions, prices for goats and sheep in September remained stable. On the other hand, due to the availability of new harvest in the market, the price of maize in Guji and wheat in Bale declined from August to September. Imported foods including sugar, wheat flour, and rice have increased due to low supply, probably resulting from efforts to formalize trade along the border with Somalia. Prices of imported items rose  especially in Dollow (formerly Warder) zones where these food commodities are major staples of the diet.

Agropastoral households in lowland areas in Bale, Guji, and Borena Zone are currently consuming the recent harvest or purchasing food with income from  sales of crops. Improved livestock body conditions and productivity have contributed to increased income from livestock and milk sales in most areas. However, the rise in cereal prices in most of the markets has outpaced the rise in livestock prices, thus leading to a decline in livestock to cereal terms of trade (ToT). This means some poor and very poor households may still have difficulty accessing food, despite improved livestock prices and healthier herds. In addition, recurrent droughts in previous years reduced herd sizes, so poor and very poor households may still lack many saleable livestock. Therefore, poor and very poor households in the remaining parts of southern and southeastern pastoral areas are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2). However, in areas with significantly worse access to water in Cherati, West Imey, Barey, Dolobay, and Dolo Ado Woredas are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3)..

Assumptions

In addition to the national assumptions described above, the following assumptions have been made about the southern and southeastern pastoral and agropastoral areas:

  • As a result of better livestock body conditions, livestock market prices are expected to increase slightly more than usual from January to March, following a drop after October when the peak export season ends.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

The likely near normal October to December Deyr/Hageya rains will likely replenish pasture, browse, and water that degraded during the June to September dry season. This will likely sustain normal pasture and water availability through March 2014. Therefore, no significant decline in livestock body conditions and productivity is anticipated between now and March.  Household income from livestock and milk sales should remain mostly at normal levels. With the increase in livestock productivity and in agricultural production in agropastoral areas, both casual labor wage rates and the amount of gifts and other forms of social support from better off households should increase. The average harvest in agropastoral lowland areas of Bale, Guji, and Borena Zones in Oromia Region is expected to provide sufficient food and income through at least December. However, as water shortages and long distances to water continue in some areas, the improvements in access to food and income are not anticipated in Cherati, West Imey, Barey, Dolobay, and Dolo Ado Woredas before January 2013 as water from the March to May Gu rains was more scarce, and these areas continue to slowly recover from high livestock losses in 2011-2012.

As the greatest share of household food consumption in southern and southeastern pastoral areas come from purchases, high cereal prices limit households’ purchasing power. Households between October and March will spend their income from sales of livestock and livestock products almost entirely on essential food. Their herd sizes for the most part continue not to support enough sales to cover essential, non-food expenses. Households in most parts of southern and southeastern pastoral areas will likely remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from October to December.  Poor and very poor households in , Cherati, West Imey, Barey, Dolobay, and Dolo Ado Woredas will continue to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through December, but following improvements and livestock births during the rainy season, they will improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) from January to March but only humanitarian assistance continuing to provide some food.

Afar and northern Somali Region

Current Situation

The overall performance of the 2013 Karma/Karan rain was normal to above normal in terms of total rainfall and normally distributed over space in most parts of Afar and northern Somali Regions. The onset of the rains was mostly timely in June/July except in Kilbati Zone in Afar Region and Dembel Woreda in Sitti Zone in Somali Region where the rains delayed by about two weeks. Following the near average performance of the 2013 Karma/Karan rains, vegetation flourished in most parts of Afar and northern Somali Regions. Accordingly, pasture, browse, and water availability increased. This addressed current livestock forage demands adequately and helped livestock body conditions to be normal in most parts of Afar and northern Somali Region. Moreover, the improvement of water availability allowed the Water, Sanitation, and Health (WASH) Cluster members in Afar to cease water rationing programs in Dubti, Erebti, Berhale, and Kori Woredas. There was no unusual livestock migration or human or livestock disease outbreaks reported in recent months. However, pasture, water, and browse shortages have been reported in Mille, Afedera, Elidar, Dalul, Adaar, Berhale, Bidu, Kori Woredas in Afar Region, Shinile, Ayesha, and Afedem Woredas in Somali Region. These poor conditions are likely due to environmental degradation over consecutive poor rainy seasons and weak rangeland management, resulting in the current forage shortages. The herds of cattle and sheep in these areas have declined for several years, potentially reducing household’s access to food and income from cattle and sheep.

Planted Karan/Karma crops in sedentary and agropastoral areas of Afar Region and Sitti and Fafan Zones in Somali Region are performing well. Crops are found at various developmental stages in different places including seed filling, maturing, and harvesting stages. In most sedentary farming areas in Tuliguled and Awbare Woredas in Fafan Zone, farmers are completing the maize and barley harvest. No major pests and plant diseases have been reported. However, there may be desert locusts  in parts of Dubti, Teru, and Yallo Woredas in Afar Regional State.

Ongoing food aid distribution has stabilized prices and availability of cereals on markets in Afar Region. Prices of sorghum continued increased in Jijiga and Shinile from August to September due to declining supply while prices for other cereals remained stable.. Goat and sheep prices increased in most markets of Afar in September due to improved body condition and high demand for Eid Al-Adha in October. In Shinile and Jijiga, however, livestock prices remain stable. Imported food prices like rice and sugar increased in Shinile and Jijiga markets probably due to a temporary border closure in September as the government tries to formalize trade between Somalia and Ethiopia.

Except for northeastern Afar and Ayesha Woreda in northern Somali, improved pasture, browse, and water availability has improved livestock productivity that further positively impacted household food and income access. In addition, some agropastoral areas have already started consumption of their own produce, favored by the good performance of the June to September Karma/Karan rains. Household purchasing power is mostly stable due to favorable livestock prices and relatively stable prices for some cereals. Therefore, poor and very poor households in Afar and northern Somali Regions, except those in northeastern parts of Afar and Ayesha Woreda of northern Somali Region, will be able to minimally address their food needs and are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2). On the other hand, the reduction in household’s herd sizes, shortages of forage and water caused recurrent dry conditions, including the current rains, and insufficient coping strategies in Dalul, Berhale, Erebti, Afedera, Elidar, Bidu, and Kori Woredas in Afar Region and Ayesha Woreda in Sitti (formerly Shinile) Zone in Somali Region have poor and very poor households in these areas in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

Assumptions

No specific assumptions other than the national assumptions described above have been used for Afar and northern parts of Somali Regions.

Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

Regenerated pasture, browse, and water in the areas where the June to September Karma/Karan rains performed well are expected to be adequate for keeping livestock productivity and body conditions stable through March. This will help households access food consumption needs from livestock products and generate income to purchase food from sales of livestock and livestock products. In addition, the anticipated average crop production in agropastoral areas is expected to improve households food consumption from own production and bring further stability to regional markets. Moreover, the expected average production in agropastoral areas and surrounding areas is expected to improve supply and may cause a slight decline in staple food prices in December. The anticipated humanitarian assistance will further improve household consumption and will help maintain stabile market prices. However, despite household’s ability to address their minimal food needs, due to the small herd sizes, the general upward increase of food prices compared to previous years, poor and very poor households will not be able to address their essential non-food needs. Most poor and very poor households in Afar and Somali Region will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through March 2014. However,  northeastern Afar and Ayesha Woreda in Sitti Zone in Somali Region are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through March. 

Events That Might Change The Outlook

Area

Event

Impact on food security outcomes

Meher-producing areas

Heavy and unseasonable rainfall in November and December resulting in a further reduction in Meher production during the harvest and high post-harvest losses

Availability of food declines on markets and at the household level

Pastoral areas

Livestock disease outbreaks

Body conditions and productivity would decline. Reduced milk from lactating animals and reduced income from livestock sales would likely follow.

Southern and southeastern pastoral and agropastoral areas

Well above average October to December Deyr/Hageya rainfall

Flash flooding could harm crops in agropastoral areas, but overall, well above average rains would recharge water sources and more evenly regenerate pasture and browse.

Southern and southeastern pastoral and agropastoral areas

Far below average October to December Deyr/Hageya rainfall

This would decrease pasture, browse, and water availability, and likely lead to higher levels of food insecurity in some areas

Nationwide

Delays in humanitarian assistance or in distribution of PSNP resources

An increase in the local rates of malnutrition in affected areas

SNNPR

Further decline in international coffee prices

A further decline in international coffee prices could lead to lower wages for workers in coffee in Sidama and Gedio Zones in SNNPR, which are a key source of income from October to December.

About Scenario Development

To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
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