EU Science Hub

Drought in East Africa and Afghanistan expected to worsen existing food crises

ASAP hotspot assessment April 2021
May 05 2021

The April edition of the JRC's Anomaly Hotspots of Agricultural Production (ASAP) assessment is now available at:

Anomaly Hotspots of Agricultural Production (ASAP) assessment

Main findings of the April global overview:

  • The main cereal season is ending in Southern Africa, with the harvest of summer crops having started in April. A bumper harvest is expected in most parts of the region thanks to beneficial agroclimatic conditions, with the exception of south-western Angola, north-western Namibia and southern Madagascar where persistent drought conditions have affected crop production.
  • The start of the April-June rainy season has been delayed and irregular in the East Africa region. Pastoral conditions in parts of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are negatively impacted due to persistent dry conditions since late 2020. There is an increased risk of food insecurity for vulnerable populations, due to a combination of factors (irregular rainfall, conflict, rising food prices, COVID-19 impacts). In South Sudan, over 7 million people are projected to fall into crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity (WFP and FAO).
  • In North Africa and the Middle East, production prospects are generally positive for winter cereals. However, below-average yields are expected in western and central Algeria, north-eastern Morocco, north-eastern Syria and north-western Iraq. In Yemen, conflict and economic decline remain the main drivers of the lingering food security crisis.
  • In Central Asia, a decrease in winter cereal production is expected in western Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and north-western Afghanistan. Delayed sowing of spring cereals is observed in northern Kazakhstan. In South Asia, prospects are favourable for the winter cereal harvest in Pakistan, and for dry season irrigated Boro rice in Bangladesh.
  • In South-East Asia, conditions are favourable for dry season rice in most countries. In Indonesia and the Philippines, harvest prospects are favourable for wet and dry season rice, respectively.
  • Land preparation for the primera season in Central America, and planting of 2021 spring season maize and bean crops in Haiti, are ongoing under favourable conditions.

The next assessment is scheduled for the end of May 2021.