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Near normal first season rains forecast in most cropping areas

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Yemen
  • March 2013
Near normal first season rains forecast in most cropping areas

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through June 2013
  • Key Messages
    • According to the World Food Program’s (WFP) Food Security Monitoring System (FSMS), food consumption improved slightly in most governorates at the end of 2012.

    • Food consumption is declined in Al-Hodeidah, Al-Mahweet, and Lahj (Laheg) governorates in 2012 compared to 2011, most likely due to poor 2012 production.  However, the proportion of households with poor food consumption is highest in Sana’a and Al-Baidah.

    • Seasonal declines in food security are anticipated through the end of the lean season in June with improvement thereafter due to forecasted average rainfall in most cropping areas.




    Aden and the South

    • Despite a formal cessation of hostilities, insecurity prevails in the South.


    Hodeidah, Lahj, Hajjah

    • High levels of acute malnutrition prevail.


    Projected Outlook through June 2013

    Though most Yemenis purchase 75-95 percent of their food, agriculture is a dominant sector in the economy, employing more than half of the labor force and providing a means of livelihood to more than two-thirds of the population. Casual labor, particularly in agriculture, is the source of most income for the poor and very poor in cropping areas.  According to WFP, approximately 50 percent of the cultivated land is rain-fed. Thirty-one percent is irrigated from groundwater, 10 percent from floods (spate) and the rest from dams and streams. The period April to June is the first rainy season in the North and central highland parts of the country. These highlands receive relatively higher quantities of rainfall compared to other parts of the country.

    The first season rains in Yemen are likely to start in the last 10 days of March. The seasonal rainfall outlook for April to June, 2013, suggests near-normal rainfall performance across the country, with a tendency for slightly below normal rains for the pastoral and northwestern cropping areas (Figure 4). Warmer-than-normal surface temperatures are also forecast.

    In February, FAO reported that isolated desert locusts were observed along the Red Sea coast, south of Hodeidah and on the Gulf of Aden coast west of Aden. The rains, which are just beginning, will likely favor small-scale breeding in March and April. Though the risk of significant crop damage is low given prevailing and seasonal winds, this situation will continue to be monitored.

    Food security typically deteriorates during the lean season between March/April and June. This year’s lean season is likely to be harsher than usual, particularly in areas of the western lowlands due to poor production in 2012 and in the South as households recover livelihoods damaged by civil insecurity.

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Seasonal Rainfall Forecast, April to June, 2013

    Figure 2

    Seasonal Rainfall Forecast, April to June, 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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