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Average rains likely to push locust outbreak eastward

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Yemen
  • July 2013
Average rains likely to push locust outbreak eastward

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through December 2013
  • Key Messages
    • Scattered immature and mature swarms of desert locusts have been observed in wadis of central and eastern Yemen; localized damage is expected, but unlikely to significantly affect national agricultural or pastoral production. 

    • The long range forecast for the period August to October, by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), suggests that the second-season rains are expected to be average throughout the country (Figure 2). 

    • In December 2012, more than 40 percent of poor households had poor food consumption in Sana’a and Al-Baidah, despite favorable labor-to-cereal terms of trade.


    Projected Outlook through December 2013

    According to FAO’s Desert Locust Information Service, groups of immature adult locusts migrated from the Sinai, Israel and Saudi Arabia in June into the wadis of central and eastern Yemen. Insecurity and concerns among bee keepers prevented control operations in June. Southwesterly winds and the mountains will limit locust movement westward, keeping them from the densely populated highlands and the primary agricultural areas westward. Localized damages to pasture, and in wadi areas some damage to locally important cash crops which could affect demand for unskilled labor are likely, but no significant impact on national agricultural or pastoral production is anticipated at this point.

    In addition to below average vegetation condition, below average rains will also contribute to scarcity of water especially during the dry season which will translate to high cost of water.

    The second rainy season (July to early October) has begun. The long range forecast for the period August to October by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) (Figure 2), suggests that the second-season rains are expected to be average throughout the country. Near-average rains are expected to lead to near-crop production and water availability in the western crop-producing parts of the country where first-season rains were below average.

    Yemen imports most of its staple food. Poor households mostly use income from daily wage labor to purchase food from the market. According to WFP’s Yemen Monthly Market Watch of June, the average labor to wheat terms of trade deteriorated slightly following an increase in the price of wheat and wheat flour by 10 percent and 1 percent, respectively, while price of wage labor remained largely stable.

    The first season harvest of sorghum and millet is underway in Amran Rain-fed Sorghum, Barley, Qat, and Livestock livelihood zone; Eastern Plateau Sorghum, Millet, and Livestock livelihood zone; Central and Eastern Wadi Palm, Wheat, Vegetables, and Livestock livelihood zone; Central and Eastern Plateau Agropastoral zone; and the Arabian Sea Coastal Irrigated Tropical Fruit Fodder, and Livestock Livelihood zone. Poor households in these livelihoods zones may also be able to supplement household consumption with food from their own production despite the below-average first-season harvest anticipated in the western livelihood zones. 

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    ECMWF rainfall anomalies in millimeters (mm) forecast for August to October 2013 as of 1 July, 2013

    Figure 2

    ECMWF rainfall anomalies in millimeters (mm) forecast for August to October 2013 as of 1 July, 2013

    Source: ECMWF

    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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