The monitored reported covers the end of the irrigated dry-season crops and the onset of the rainfed season. This period is key to irrigated crops (mainly wheat, green maize and vegetables) but also the preparation of the main rainfed season. Irrigated wheat was harvested in late September into October with an estimated national production of 150,000 MT, higher than the previous year.
The monitoring period, as part of the dry season, recorded 14 mm (down 17%). Temperature was average (21.5°C) and favorable to winter cropping, and so was the average radiation of 1396 MJ/m2 (+1% compared with average). These climatic conditions led to a rise in biomass production of 15% to 384 gDM/m2, a decrease in area under cultivation (CALF at 8%, down -77% from 5YA) representing mainly irrigated areas and a somewhat late onset of the rainy season, and maximum VCI of 0.43. The rain-fed cropping season begins in November with the field crops to be ready for harvesting end of April into May the following year. Seasonal forecasts currently indicate that average to above-average precipitation is likely to support field crop establishment.
The agro-ecological region analysis indicates that rainfall received in all the agro-ecological zones was less than the 15 year average (below -32%) except for the Northern high rainfall zone where the deviation was positive (+15%). The temperature varied from 21.2°C to 22.0°C with negligible departure from average. The radiation across all the three agro-ecological zones was more than 1380 MJ/m2 (1% above average) and resulted in positive BIOMSS departures in the Lungwa-Zambezi Rift Valley (+24%) and the Northern High Rainfall zone (+13%). The same pattern is reflected by decreases in the Cropped Arable Land Fraction (CALF) with highest CALF for Northern High Rainfall zone (72%, down 9% from 5YA) and lower values in the three other zones: Luangwa-Zambezi Rift Valley (8%, down 77%), Central-Eastern & Southern Plateau (20%, down -32%) and Western Semi-Arid Plateau (32%, down 46%]. The NDVI showed a strong departure from 5YA, indicating reduced potential agricultural production in the three southern AEZs due mainly to reduced rainfall in these regions.
The rainfall during this quarter was below normal and it is hoped that, as the season builds up, it will turn to above normal.
a. Phenology of major crops
b: Crop condition development graph based on NDVI - Zambia
c. Maximum VCI
Figure G: Spatial distribution of NDVI profiles
d: Crop condition development graph based on NDVI_Luangwa Zambezi rift valley
e: Crop condition development graph based on NDVI_Northen high rainfall zone
f: Crop condition development graph based on NDVI_Central-eastern and southern plateau
f: Crop condition development graph based on NDVI_Western semi-arid plain
g: Time series rainfall pofile_Zambia h: Time series temperature pofile_Zambia
Table A: Country’s agroclimatic indicators by sub‐national regions, current season's values and departure from 15YA, July - October 2019
|Current (mm)||Departure from 15YA (%)||Current (°C)||Departure from 15YA (°C)||Current (MJ/m2)||Departure from 15YA (%)||Current (gDM/m2)||Departure from 15YA (%)|
|Luanguwa Zambezi rift valley||6||-37||21.4||0.0||1404||1||361||24|
|Northen high rainfall zone||32||15||21.2||-0.1||1404||1||424||13|
|Central-eastern and southern plateau||5||-61||21.7||0.1||1385||1||411||15|
|Western semi-arid plain||7||-34||22.0||0.0||1395||0||264||4|
Table B: Country’s agronomic indicators by sub‐national regions, current season's values and departure from 15YA, July - October 2019
|Region||Cropped arable land fraction||Cropping Intensity||Maximum VCI|
|Current (%)||Departure from 5YA (%)||Current (%)||Departure from 5YA (%)||Current|
|Luanguwa Zambezi rift valley||8||-77||101||2||0.43|
|Northen high rainfall zone||72||-9||104||1||0.79|
|Central-eastern and southern plateau||20||-32||102||3||0.58|
|Western semi-arid plain||32||-46||99||4||0.61|