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Rainfall shortage in Yemen threatens food security, with slight improvement in March

High temperatures, the sale of livestock, and a lack of green fodder are among the risks of a lack of rain


  • In February 2024, Yemen experienced a significant decrease in rainfall, leading to a shortage of green fodder, livestock sales, and the spread of diseases in some areas.

  • Thankfully, March brought some rain, as predicted by the Agricultural Climate Bulletin. Rainfall is expected to gradually increase as the first rainy season approaches. pen_spark

  • However, high temperatures pose a continued risk, as they can exacerbate rainfall shortages and negatively impact livestock health. This necessitates intensified monitoring activities.


Yemen experienced significantly lower rainfall in February 2024, particularly in the central highlands and deserts. This resulted in green fodder shortages, livestock sales, and disease outbreaks in some areas, according to the European Union-funded Agricultural Climate Bulletin published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The bulletin predicts improved rainfall in March, with a gradual rise as the first rainy season begins. Rainfall could surpass 50 mm in some central highland areas while ranging from 0 to 5 mm elsewhere in the country.

This rain is crucial for natural plant and pasture growth, enabling farmers to finalize land preparation and utilize organic fertilizer for the upcoming agricultural season.

High temperatures remain a concern, particularly in Hadramaut and Al-Jawf, where they could surpass 45 degrees Celsius. These conditions might stress livestock, necessitating increased monitoring.

Overall, the March weather forecast suggests an improvement in agriculture. However, the impact of high temperatures on animals and food security requires close attention. This includes potential green fodder shortages, livestock sales, disease outbreaks, and delays in planting for the next season.

The bulletin advises several essential measures, including continuous monitoring of weather forecasts. It also recommends adopting modern irrigation techniques and educating farmers about the dangers of high temperatures.

The ongoing lack of rain in Yemen poses a significant threat to food security, especially considering the country's challenging economic situation.

Yemen grapples with immense challenges due to climate change. Extreme weather events, like droughts and floods, have caused soil erosion, water shortages, crop damage, and a surge in pests and diseases. These factors have combined to reduce agricultural productivity, heighten food insecurity, worsen malnutrition, and inflate food prices.

Yemen stands as one of the nations most susceptible to climate change's effects. Projections indicate a significant temperature rise in the coming decades, further jeopardizing agriculture and food security.

The Yemeni government, in collaboration with the international community, must tackle the impact of climate change on agriculture and food security in Yemen. This can be achieved through a multifaceted approach, including investments in climate-smart agricultural technologies, bolstering farmer resilience, improving agricultural infrastructure, and supporting nutrition programs that ensure access to food for underprivileged families.


@FAO @EU_Commission


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