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Dry Weather in Eritrea Seen by EU Service Delaying Crop Growth

Dry weather in Eritrea delayed crop growth “substantially” this season in the eastern African nation and eroded pastures needed to feed livestock, the European Union’s crop-monitoring service said.

Drier-than-normal weather in July postponed the start of the so-called Kremti rainy season, which usually runs from late June to September, the EU’s Monitoring Agricultural Resources unit said in an online report today. Crops and pastures are in “poor and very poor condition” in main growing regions in Eritrea’s southwest, according to the report.

“The dry weather affected not only crop development, but had also an effect on cultivated area,” MARS said. “Abundant rains of early August have improved the situation, but the negative effect of the delay on this year’s harvest will not be completely reversed.”

While most of Eritrea’s north and southeast is too dry for agriculture, about 56 percent of its land area is used for raising livestock and 5 percent for growing rain-fed arable crops including grain, MARS said.

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