RWANDA - Planting of the 2015A season crops (which represent about 30-40 per cent of total crop production) started in August with the early onset of the short rainy season (September-December) and it is about to be completed.
Reduction in the area planted with maize and beans is reported in some eastern agro-pastoral areas, where 2014B season crops have been affected by severe moisture deficits leading to shortage of local seeds.
Despite a dry spell during the second dekad of September that delayed planting operations in some areas, rains have been generally favourable so far, benefitting germinating crops and improving pasture conditions as shown by positive NDVI anomalies. The whole country is forecast to receive average to above average rainfall amounts along the season.
The overall cereal production in 2014 (including season A, B and the recently harvested minor C season) is forecast at about 786,000 tonnes, 21 per cent below the bumper output obtained in 2013 and four per cent below the last five-year average. The reduction is essentially due to unfavourable weather conditions that affected yields of both A and B season crops harvested last February and July, respectively.
Maize and beans prices continue to decline in Kigaly wholesale market
After rising from May to June, prices of maize and beans have started to decline, following the 2014B season harvest and have been kept stable in recent months by increased imports from Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
In October 2014, beans were traded in the Kigali wholesale market at about $490 per tonne, about 32 per cent below the price of one year earlier. Similarly, the average price of maize ($320 per tonne) declined by 12 per cent during the last 12 months.
Minimal levels of food insecurity in most areas of the country
Minimal levels (IPC phase 1) of acute malnutrition are reported in most areas of the country.
However, households affected by production shortfalls during the 2014B seasons are already facing stressed levels (IPC phase 2) of food insecurity as their food stocks have been depleted by September, increasing by one month the length of the main October-December lean season.
Currently, these households are relying entirely on market purchases to meet their food needs, with the frequent adoption of negative coping strategies such as above-average sales of livestock. In these areas, food security conditions are expected to improve only by January 2015 with the beginning of the 2015A season harvest.
TheCropSite News Desk