Time series analysis of precipitation and vegetation to detect food production anomalies in the Horn of Africa. The case of Lower Shabelle (Somalia)

M. A. Belenguer-Plomer


The Horn of Africa is one of the most food-insecure locations around the world due to the continuous increase of its population and the practice of the subsistence agriculture. This causes that much of the population cannot take the minimum nutritional needs for a healthy life. Moreover, this situation of food vulnerability may be seriously affected in the coming years due to the effects of climate change. The aim of this work is combine the information about the state of the vegetation that offers the NDVI with rainfall data to detect negative anomalies in food production. This work has been used the monthly products of NDVI MOD13A3 of MODIS and the rainfall estimation product TAMSAT, both during the period 2001-2015. With these products we have calculated the average of the entire time period selected and we have detected the years whose NDVI values were further away from the average, being these 2010, 2011 and 2014. Once detected the years with major anomalies in NDVI, there has been an exclusive monthly analysis of those years, where we have analysed the relationships between the value of NDVI and monthly rainfall, obtaining a direct relationship between the two values. It also has been used crop calendar to focus the analysis in the months of agricultural production and finding that the main cause of anomalies in vegetation is a decrease in the registration of rainfall during the months of agricultural production. This reason explains the origin of the food shortages that occurred in 2010 and 2011 that generated an enormous humanitarian crisis in this area.


NDVI; drought; Horn of Africa; MODIS; TAMSAT

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