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Africa and El Niño

Africa and El Niño

Opening the financial paper this morning, we were confronted with a large article about a potential famine in the Southern parts of Africa.

The relatively strong El Niño of this year is disrupting the weather patterns world wide and is affecting for instance the rain fall in Southern Africa, but also in Morocco and parts of Algeria. 

More and more farmers are changing to irrigation from wells or rivers, but if the water has to come from rain fed wells or lakes, this can greatly influence the choices a farmer has to make at the beginning of the season.

A crop of potatoes needs relatively less water than a lot of other crops, but when grown under the normal warm African conditions the cooling factor of irrigation is essential for the normal development of the potatoes. Therefore water availability for the whole season of 100 days has to be secured, before a farmer will decide to plant potatoes. What the influence of the difficult conditions this year will be on the planted acreage, the final yield and the prices for the coming season is still to be seen. But it will surely have an effect on the local trade of potatoes and therefore also on the demand for seed potatoes for next year. Some countries will suffer and some countries will profit from the changing circumstances. By keeping good contact with your international relations it must be possible to manage this years situation.

Gepubliceerd op donderdag 11 februari 2016
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