Remote Monitoring Report

Poor February to March rainfall performance causes delays to seasonal agricultural activities

April 2015
2015-Q2-1-1-RW-en

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • Food insecurity is expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from April to early June, among poor households in the East Congo Nile Highland Subsistence Farming, Bugesera Cassava, and the East Agropastoral Livelihood Zones due to the poor start to Season B and related reductions in labor opportunities for the poor, exacerbated by earlier-than-normal depletion of household food stocks, following below-average production in Seasons A and B in 2014. 

  • However, food security is anticipated to improve from mid-June through September, to Minimal Acute Food Insecurity (IPC Phase 1), among poor households in the East Congo Nile Highland Subsistence, Bugesera Cassava, and the Eastern Agropastoral Zone.  The improvement is attributed to increased food availability from Season B harvests in the cropping areas, coupled with expanded labor opportunities during the Season B harvest and Season A land preparation periods.  

 

 ZONE

 

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

 

     PROJECTED ANOMALIES

East Congo Nile Highland Subsistence Farming, and Bugesera Cassava Livelihood Zones

  • Poor start to Season B, substantial rainfall deficits resulted in the wilting of cereals and beans, and some re-planting.

 

  • Crop harvests will likely be delayed, compromising household food supply and income, for poor households, who derive up to 80 percent of household food and labor income from agricultural production.

 

East Congo Nile Highland Subsistence Farming, and Bugesera Cassava Livelihood Zones

  • Reduced availability of clean cassava cuttings for planting, amidst some distribution of cuttings.
  • It is likely that Season B cassava production will be below average, attributed to reduced availability of cuttings for planting.

Projected outlook through September 2015

The February to May 2015 Season B has started in the southeastern and eastern cropping areas, in most parts of the East Congo Nile Highland Subsistence and Bugesera Cassava Livelihood Zones.  However, rainfall in the first half of March was well below seasonal averages in these areas (Figure 1).  Below-average vegetation conditions, as reflected in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) (Figure 2) caused crops to wilt in several areas forcing farmers to re-plant cereals and pulses, more than a month after initial sowing.  Some poor households were unable to fully re-plant their farms due to low financial capacity to purchase additional seed. Delays in agricultural activities like weeding have reduced income earning opportunities for the poor who depend on agricultural labor as a principal source of income.

Although the government provided some farmers with cuttings to replace uprooted cassava crops infected by the Cassava Brown Streak Virus, the cuttings are unlikely to adequately replace crops in all affected areas. Poor households in Kamonyi, Ruhango and Muhanga districts, who lost close to 20 percent of cassava output last season continue to face substantial income gaps because of their dependence on cassava as a principal source of food and labor income.  Expected reduction in cassava hectarage during Season B, coupled with depleted household food stocks, and early season crop and labor losses, is likely to compromise the fragile recovery of poor households that followed Season A harvests in January and February.

Imports of maize, beans and sorghum from Uganda and Tanzania were higher than normal, in the first quarter of 2015, due a combination of below-average local production, above-average production in Uganda and Tanzania, and the re-direction of exportable surpluses to Rwanda and other East African countries, instead of South Sudan.  Although Season A harvests were below average in key areas of concern, including the East Congo Nile Highland Subsistence Farming and Bugesera Cassava Zones, increased  imports of maize, beans and sorghum have offset reductions in staple food availability from local production and mitigated price shocks.  

Food insecurity is expected remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from April to June, for poor households that are dependent on labor income from cassava production and subsistence maize, beans and sorghum production. The key areas of concern are found in the East Congo Nile Highland Subsistence Farming and Bugesera Cassava Livelihood Zones in Bugesera, Gisara, Huye, Kaimonyi, Muhanga, Nyanza, Nyamagabe, Nyaruguru, and Ruhango districts. Food security among poor households is expected to deteriorate during this period due to reduced cassava and staple food production, coupled with two successive poor seasons in 2014, where only 26 percent of the households were able to carry-over staple food stocks into 2015.  Opportunities for labor are also expected to reduce substantially from April until the beginning of the harvest in mid-June, due to anticipated reduction in cassava, bean, sorghum, and maize production. Delays to harvests of cereals and pulses are also likely, following a poor start to Season B in some cropping areas of eastern and southern provinces.Food insecurity is expected to improve to Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) for poor households in the East Congo Nile Highland Subsistence and Bugesera Cassava Zones from mid-June through September.  Although reduced crop output may result in early exhaustion of household food stocks, the June to September period coincides with labor-intensive income-generating activities, including Season B harvesting and Season A land preparation. 

About Remote Monitoring

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.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 28 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

USAID logoUSGS logoUSDA logo
NASA logoNOAA logoKimetrica logoChemonics logo