Drought Worsens Famine in Ethiopia
The National Government of Ethiopia has announced that 3.7 million of its citizens will require humanitarian support, particularly food assistance, between the months of August and December this year, up from 3.2 million in January. The increase in food demand was brought by the failure of Belg rains, a small portion of the country's rainy season which usually falls between February and May. Belg rains are important for short-cycle crops such as wheat, barley, teff, and pulses, which are harvested in June or July, and for long-cycle cereals such as corn, sorghum and millet.
Abdou Dieng, the World Food Programme's Humanitarian Food Coordinator in Ethiopia, said that the lateness and weakness of the Belg rains had taken a toll on agricultural production in areas of the central highlands, particularly in the regional states of Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Region, central Oromiya, and eastern Amhara. The lack of rainfall is being blamed on climate change, with experts saying it is leading to erratic rain patterns and disruption of normal seasonal changes.
See the original article at http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/changing-rainfall-boosts-number-of-ethiopians-in-need-of-food-aid/.
This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)