Skip to main content

Heavy rainfall may damage Vuli beans around Lake Victoria

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Tanzania
  • October 2015
Heavy rainfall may damage Vuli beans around Lake Victoria

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Prices were mostly stable between August and September, despite below-average harvests earlier this year. The National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) purchased maize in surplus-producing areas in the Southern Highlands, and now is selling maize in areas of low production in central Tanzania. This helped stabilize maize prices. Staple food prices will likely increase as demand rises during the unimodal and bimodal lean seasons in November/December.

    • In the Rift Valley and nearby midlands, households had to purchase food earlier in the year due to low production. However, as agricultural labor became more available in September and October, households that were in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) moved to Stressed (IPC Phase 2). These areas are unlikely to enter Minimal (IPC Phase 1) until the next Msimu harvest starts in April/May.

    • After slowing in August, the number of refugees and asylum-seekers arriving from Burundi to the Nyarugusu and Nduta Camps in Kigoma Region increased, with 9,727 people arriving from October 1 to 29. This population is likely to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) even with continued humanitarian assistance.




    Central Rift Valley in Singida, Dodoma, Shinyanga, and Tabora Regions

    • Households began buying food from markets in July, three months early than normal, due to low crop production. Incomes from firewood and charcoal sales, an important source of cash for the poor, are currently much lower than usual due to over-supply in the market.
    • An outbreak of Newcastle disease in September/October is reducing incomes from chicken sales, as households have fewer chickens to sell.


    • To support likely average harvests in 2016, households will prioritize working their own land and purchasing seed over migratory labor or other income-earning strategies that may have expanded incomes during the November to February unimodal lean season.

    Refugees and asylum-seekers from Burundi in Kigoma Region


    • Access to basic services like water, health care, and shelter access may continue to be limited with a continued large number of new arrivals.
    • Income to purchase food will remain low as there are few opportunities to earn income in and around the camps.


    Seasonal progress: In the bimodal areas around Lake Victoria, planting and weeding of Vuli crops is ongoing. Unusually heavy rainfall in October has already damaged some beans crops at the flowering and pod-formation stages, and it may damage more over the next several weeks. Land preparation and dry planting are ongoing in the Northeast. Rains are expected to start in the Northeast and the rest of the bimodal areas in early November. In unimodal areas, preparation for Msimu season is ongoing, including land preparation and buying agricultural inputs.

    Markets: Maize and rice prices were mostly stable between August and September, despite 2014-2015 production being lower than the past several years. The 2014-2015 harvest was estimated at 18 percent below the five- year average. Continued price stability has been attributed to NFRA purchases helping maintain prices during the harvest in the Southern Highlands, the release of market and NFRA stocks to markets in some deficit areas in central Tanzania, low prices in Zambia as a result of currency depreciation that have caused more imports, and ongoing sales by farmers to pay for land preparation and buying agricultural inputs for the Vuli and Msimu seasons. Also, due to the low price of Zambian maize in importing countries in southern Africa, there has been less demand for higher-priced maize from Tanzania for southward and westward exports. Maize prices remain stable near their five-year averages in both surplus-producing and deficit areas of the country. Staple food prices will seasonally increase during the November to February lean season, as the number of people purchasing from markets grows.

    Dodoma, Shinyanga, Tabora, and Singida Regions: The June/July harvest was below average in the Rift Valley. Households started purchasing food from markets earlier than usual, but they had little income with which to purchase. This was partially due to low agricultural labor demand for the harvest but also due to the lack of staple and cash crops to sell. Households in the Rift Valley were in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) starting in July. However, land preparation for the upcoming Msimu season is providing income-earning opportunities for poor households. As income from labor increased, households were able to buy more food and move into Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in October.

    An outbreak of Newcastle disease killed a large number of chickens in September/October. Poor households often sell chickens, firewood, and charcoal during the lean season, but in addition to having lost chickens, many households are finding low prices for firewood an charcoal due to oversupply. The chances of flooding are higher than usual during El Niño. Floods are likely to temporarily reduce road access, leading to potentially temporarily high prices in or near flooded areas. In the midlands, as incomes from agricultural labor rise and staple food prices remain stable or seasonally rise, poor households will likely move from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to None (IPC Phase 1) in November.

    Northeastern, bimodal areas: The March to July Masika harvest was below average, resulting in low income from crop sales, as well as below-average household stocks. As land preparation for the Vuli season has started, agricultural labor demand has started to rise. This is expected to continue through the season. Unlike in midland areas of central Tanzania though, households are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) until the green Vuli harvest starts in December.

    Asylum seekers and refugees in Nyarugusu and Nduta Camps in Kigoma Region: According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 108,004 asylum seekers and refugees have arrived from Burundi at the Nyarugusu and Nduta Camps as of October 29. All arrivals are currently being transported to Nduta Camp. Additionally, refugees currently in lowland areas are being relocated to Nduta Camp before rainfall starts in November to reduce the risk of flooding facilities for refugees and asylum seekers. While new facilities are being built to provide more housing, water, and health and educational services, currently services and facilities in the camps are not able to accommodate the large number of new arrivals. With tensions and political instability continuing in Burundi, substantial numbers of new arrivals are likely to continue. With few opportunities to earn income in and around the camp, most households in the camps are only consuming food from their rations. This population will likely remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) even with the presence of humanitarian assistance.

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1


    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