Small-holder agricultural fields near Nyahururu, Kenya,
are approaching the flowering stage.
Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET)
In partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture provides technical assistance to the FEWS Net
activity, launched in July 2000 to follow on the work of the former Famine Early
Warning System (FEWS) Project. Building on its predecessor’s work, FEWS NET’s
principal objectives are to provide comprehensive early warning and food
security assessment information, and to do this in such a way that the
capabilities of national and regional partners in Africa, Asia, and the Americas
are strengthened to do the same. The goal of FEWS NET is to help create
sustainable information systems that facilitate and empower host countries to
identify their own food security problems, and to find their own solutions to
FEWS NET consists of a private-sector contractor implementing country
activities, and inter-agency agreements with NASA, NOAA, USGS, and USDA. The
four inter-agency partners provide a wide range of technical expertise for food
security assessment, and applied development of early warning and food security
assessment tools and methods.
farmer near Oldeani, Tanzania, recently harvested her corn.
USDA’s PECAD is playing an increasingly important role as a technical partner of
FEWS NET. PECAD is lending expertise and tools it uses to assess crop production
in the major crop growing areas of the world, and FEWS NET is helping to test
and adapt those methods for use in very food insecure and agriculturally
FEWS NET and PECAD recently coordinated the efforts of leading agencies in
making a remote assessment of Zimbabwe’s 2005 agricultural production, achieving
an international consensus that allowed decision-makers to immediately begin
discussing how to address the dimensions of the impending food security
emergency in that country. In the previous year, a lack of consensus
significantly delayed humanitarian response planning.
Countries: Thirty countries in the West and Southern Africa, the Horn of Africa,
Afghanistan, Haiti, and Central America.
Photo Note: The
photos on this page were taken during a joint USDA/FAS
and USAID/FEWSNET crop assessment tour during June/July 2005.