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Poor Season 1 rains with fair crop development

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Yemen
  • May 2013
Poor Season 1 rains with fair crop development

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through June 2013
  • Key Messages
    • First season rains have been below average to date in western highland cropping areas, western wadi cultivation and pastoral areas as well as northeastern parts of the country. The season is expected to end average to well with fair crop development.

    • 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.




    Aden and the South

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


    Western Yemen

    • Satellite imagery suggests that rains have been below average.
    • Average to above-average July-September rainfall.

    Projected Outlook through June 2013

    The main cropping areas in Yemen are the densely populated highland areas in the western part of the country. In Yemen, agricultural activities contribution to food security is more as a source of income through agricultural labor employment rather than actual cereal production. First season (March-May) rains in these areas including Sana’a, Dhamar, Rayma, Ibb, and Al Baidha governorates, have been below average so far. Seasonal rains have also been below average in the northeastern part of the country (northeastern part of Hadramout governorate) and those on the western coastline including Hajja, Hodieda, Taiz and Lehaj. In the rest of the country, rains have been normal to above normal (Figure 2). Despite the below-average rainfall in the western crop producing parts of the country, informal, field information from areas of poor rainfall in southwestern Yemen suggests that highland crops are progressing fairly, and land preparation in lowland areas is underway. Short term rainfall forecasts suggest that the end of season in June will be average to good (NOAA Week 1, Week 2, IRI, ECMWF), which may be sufficient to conclude cropping season.

    Though uncertainty is significantly greater, the long range forecast for the August to October season currently suggests average to above-average rainfall for the western cropping areas for the next season between August and September (ECMWF, IRI). This may have a favorable food security impact through above average agricultural labor demand.  

    Most of the staple food consumed in Yemen is imported into the country. There is, therefore, very high reliance on the market to obtain food. Wheat prices are relatively stable in Yemen and are expected to continue the general decline experienced since January 2012 through the end of the year based on favorable forecast projections for the global wheat market (USDA, FEWS NET).

    WFP reports that the nominal average unskilled wage labor rate, on the other hand, remained stable which led to a slight improvement in the average wage labor-to-wheat terms of trade. Similarly, the average price of sheep increased by 9.8 percent compared to that of February which improved the sheep-to-wheat terms of trade. As a result of improvements in terms of trade, poor households’ ability to purchase food has improved; purchasing power levels are good. 

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Rainfall anomaly, percent of normal, March 12 to May 11, 2013

    Figure 2

    Rainfall anomaly, percent of normal, March 12 to May 11, 2013

    Source: USGS

    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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