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Rainfall deficits likely to decrease Season B yields

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Rwanda
  • May 2014
Rainfall deficits likely to decrease Season B yields

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected outlook through September 2014
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    NUR
    Key Messages
    • Crop yields from Season B are expected to be below average. Despite on-time planting in early March, below-normal rainfall totals were received from mid-April to the end of May.
    • Prices of maize remained stable in most markets in April. Bean prices in most markets followed seasonal trends in April but remain well above average in Rukomo and Nyakarambi markets. Below-average Season B harvests in June are expected to put upward pressure on prices.
    • Most parts of Rwanda will continue to face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity through September. Poor households in the Lake Kivu Coffee livelihood zone and the Eastern Congo Nile Highland Subsistence Farming zone are currently in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity through June. Improvements in food security outcomes beyond June will depend on Season B harvests.

    Current Situation
    • Cropping season B: The agricultural season is underway but rainfall has been below-average since mid-April. Rainfall deficits are negatively affecting crops like beans, maize, soybeans, wheat, and peas which are currently at grain filling stages. Banana Xanthomonas Wilt Disease is threatening production of bananas across the country and has been declared a national threat by the Rwanda Agricultural Board.  
    • Rainfall: Erratic and below-average rainfall was received in most areas of the country in April (Figure3). Season B rainfall typically peaks from late April to May, but rains were about 50 millimeters below average. Remote sensing and field reports suggest atypical dryness in many areas of the country which has negatively affected vegetation and crop performance.   
    • Food Sources: As poor households already depleted their food stocks from the Season A harvest, households are market dependant in most of livelihood zones, as is typical this time of year.  Some have begun harvesting food crops such as beans, soybeans, peas, sweet potatoes, and cooking bananas.
    • Staple food prices: Maize prices remained stable across the country in April. In Kigali, maize prices are well below the two year average. Bean prices in most markets followed seasonal trends in April but remain well above average in Rukomo, Nyakarambi markets. Soybean and peas prices are not declining as they normally do during the pre-havest period. Prices typically decline with availability of Season B harvest in June. However, below-average Season B harvests in June is expected to put upward pressure on prices.
    • Refugees and returnees: The transfer of Congolese refugees from Nkamira Camp in Rubavu District to Mugombwa Camp was completed in April. Currently, Mugombwa hosts 6794 Congolese refugees. 

    Updated Assumptions

    Most of the assumptions in the Rwanda Food Security Outlook for April through September 2014 remain unchanged.

    • In April, it was assumed that March to May rainfall would be normal to above-normal. Based on significant rainfall deficits in most of the country, seasonal rainfall is expected to be below-average.

     


    Projected outlook through September 2014
    • Households in the Eastern Congo Nile Highland Subsistence Farming zone and Lake Kivu Coffee Zone are expected to remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through June. Poor households depleted stocks from own production one month early this year becoming market dependent earlier than normal and have difficulties covering food requirements. To meet essential food and non-food needs, households in these areas will continue to resort to coping strategies like atypical labor migration and sale of livestock. Food security outcomes are expected to improve in June when Season B harvests are available. However, these improvements depend on crop performance.

           

    Figures Rainfall Anomaly, April 2014

    Figure 1

    Rainfall Anomaly, April 2014

    Source: USGS

    Nominal retail prices for beans in Nyakarambi

    Figure 2

    Nominal retail prices for beans in Nyakarambi

    Source: FEWS NET

    Seasonal Calendar of typical year

    Figure 3

    Seasonal Calendar of typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 7

    Source:

    This Food Security Outlook Update provides an 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 over the next six months. Learn more here.

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