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Above-average 2019 Season B harvests expected to support Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Rwanda
  • February 2019
Above-average 2019 Season B harvests expected to support Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected throughout Rwanda through September 2019, supported by above-average crop production and anticipated below-average food prices. However, localized areas may be severely affected by flooding and landslides due to above-average rainfall currently forecast for the March-May period.Those areas may temporarily face Stressed (IPC Phase 2 food security outcomes before receiving assistance. The northern and western parts of Rwanda are particularly vulnerable to those natural disasters.

    • According to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), staple food prices decreased by 0.7 percent in rural areas and remained unchanged in urban areas between December and January, a time that is typically the peak of the lean season. Food prices are likely to stay below average in most areas throughout the projection period, supporting favorable food access from markets.

    • An estimated 145,000 people are refugees in Rwanda. Many are increasingly seeking jobs across the country or engaging in petty trade. Various organizations have also started to implement programs that assist refugees integrate into national health, educational, and safety nets systems. Most refugees in Rwanda face no acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1!), though some are likely Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!).




    Overall crop production is above average and staple food prices are below average in key markets. 

    The March to May Season B rainfall is forecast to be above average. Bean crop development is sensitive to heavy rainfall and high humidity, and although national production is expected to be near average, below-average production is likely in some areas. However, above-average production of sorghum, bananas, roots and tubers is anticipated, which would keep staple food prices below average through September. 

    Localized areas in East Provinces

    The production of bean and maize in localized areas of Kirehe, Bugesera, Kayonza, and Rwamagana Districts was below average due to erratic and below-average rainfall during Season 2019A.

    Some poor households are likely to have below-average household food stocks through June, when Season B harvesting occurs.

    North and West Provinces


    Above-average rainfall is likely to cause flooding and landslides in these areas, leading to loss of life, localized crop damages, asset destruction, and temporary displacements. The Government and partners are likely to provide rapid and adequate food and non-food relief assistance.


    Although late January into February is typically a dry season between the bimodal rains, at least 50 mm of rain each month is usually still recorded in the western half of the country. This year, rainfall was significantly below average during this timeframe. However, this dry spell had a limited impact on crops in the area, as bean crops had already been harvested and maize crops had developed beyond the grain filling stage, the time when the crop is most sensitive to moisture deficit. Bean and maize crops in localized areas of Kirehe, Bugesera, Kayonza, and Rwamagana Districts of East Province were, however, negatively impacted erratic rainfall, and bean and maize production in these areas is expected to be below average. There was little to no impact on other major crops including banana, cassava, and sweet and Irish potatoes. Key informants and satellite derived imagery both indicate that 2019 Season A crop production is at least average nationally.

    Between March and May 2019, above-average rainfall is forecast, and this is expected to lead to above-average June production of bananas and roots and tubers, which constitute an important part of the population’s diets and income sources. The continuously increasing supply of commercial seeds and fertilizers is also likely to contribute to favorable crop production. The production of beans, the main crop of Season B and largest source of protein, is expected to be average. However, below-average production is expected in some areas given the susceptibility to heavy rainfall and humidity. Furthermore, flooding, soil erosion, and landslides are likely in northern and western lowland areas.
    Markets across the country are well supplied and the prices of most staple foods are below average. Those prices are anticipated to remain below average throughout the projection period. Additionally, income earning opportunities in many areas are above average due to ongoing activities such as marshland reclamation and the construction of roads and irrigation systems in Kirehe, Bugesera, Kayonza, and Rwamagana Districts. It is expected these income sources and wage rates should remain stable or improve during projection period, allowing the poor to earn sufficient income to cover their households’ minimum food requirements.

    Based on the favorable Season A production, food market access, and expected average to above-average Season B production in June, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are likely to persist through at least September 2019. However, as often happens in Rwanda, particularly in the North and West Provinces, forecast heavy rains during the 2019 Season B are likely to cause flooding and landslides, resulting in localized loss of life and property. Due to deterioration of livelihood and food sources, affected households are expected to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) before relief assistance is in place. Based on past trends with food and non-food assistance from the Government and partners, these levels of food insecurity are expected to be short-term.

    The number of refugees in Rwanda stands at 145,000 people. Though still limited, the assistance geared towards strengthening self-reliance and integration in the national social and economic systems is increasing. As refugees continue to receive humanitarian, cash-based assistance, most are likely facing no acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1!), though some may be Stressed (IPC Phase 2!).

    Figures Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    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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