Manyu Division, Cameroon – Relative Air Humidity

The Manyu division in Cameroon has experienced air humidity levels well above the infamous 2015-2016 harmattan season. That said, overall levels remain slightly below-average, which indicates a slightly stronger-than-average harmattan season.

Air humidity is a proxy for how much water the atmosphere is able to evaporate from the plants. When this rate is very high, it disrupts the transpiration and can lead to damage to the wood that transports water to the leaves. To limit this potential damage, trees reduce the amount of leaves they have. This has a knock-on negative effect on the plant’s capacity to feed its fruits.

These harmattan related drops in air humidity led to a massive leaf shedding and reduced the potential for the coming generations through wilting. The effects of the Harmattan this season have been stronger than average due to the low water available to the plants since November 2021. Air humidity levels should no longer pose any problems, but the effects to date have left a mark on the crop that will last until June – namely low crop potential and small beans.

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