Early warning signs provide alarming indications of looming significant food supply shortages that are likely to impact on the next marketing season. The rains experienced in late March and early April provided some relief to livestock farmers, but arrived too late for both staple foods and cash crops. These adverse weather conditions are likely to reduce crop production in southern Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar and South Africa. The negative impact of flooding will also affect food security in Malawi, Madagascar and Mozambique. (OCHA, 29 May 2015)
Nearly 29 million people are currently food insecure in southern Africa region mainly due to the carry-over effects of the past poor harvest season combined with other structural factors. Unless a two-track approach is quickly taken to address the current food insecurity and to establish measures to mitigate against the El Niño effects, the existing food insecurity will deepen and increase in scope with its effects will last till 2017. (Southern African Food and Nutrition Security Working Group, 17 Nov 2015)
The combination of a poor 2014/15 season and an extreme early dry spell during the 2015/16 rainy season to date (November to February) over southern and western Madagascar has resulted in an intense drought...It is now estimated that close to 1.14 million people are food insecure in seven districts of southern Madagascar (80% of the population). About 665 000 people are severely food insecure and in need of urgent emergency food security support until the end of the 2016/17 lean season...On 22 March, the government of Madagascar has declared a state of emergency for southern Madagascar. (ECHO, 30 Mar 2016)
Lesotho last had normal rainfall between April and May 2015... An estimated 15-30 percent of Lesotho’s population is in need of humanitarian assistance to help them cope with this acute drought situation. The Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) report for 2015 indicates deterioration in the food security situation with the number of people in need going from 447,760 to 463,936 (an increase in prevalence from 26% to 33%). (IFRC, 06 Apr 2016)
In Malawi, the prolonged dry spells and floods not only affected maize production but other crops such as ground nuts have also been affected, and harvests are down by 21%. This left more than 2.8 million people in Malawi food insecure for a period of between three to 8 months. 25 out of the 28 Districts in Malawi were affected. Of the 2.8 million people affected 886,204 were living in the hard hit flood-affected districts and 1,947,008 were in districts affected by poor rainfall. An estimated 20% to 40% of Malawi’s population were at that time reported to be in need of humanitarian assistance to help them cope with the acute food shortage. On 12 April 2016, the President of Malawi declared a state of national disaster as a result of prolonged dry spells during 2015/2016 season. (IFRC, 18 Apr 2016)
Mozambique is facing severe drought in the Southern and Central region of the country affecting approximately 1.5 million people. The Government activated the institutional red alert in the most drought affected provinces such as, Tete, Sofala, Gaza, Inhambane and Maputo aiming to intensify and expand the response actions, disburse additional funds planned for emergency situations and mobilize additional resources through the cooperating partners. (OCHA, 04 May 2016)
Based on preliminary results, the ZimVAC has indicated that the prevalence of rural food insecurity in Zimbabwe will be higher than the 30 percent revealed by the January 2016 Rapid Assessment. The global acute malnutrition (GAM) prevalence is likely to increase beyond the 5.7 percent indicated in January. (WFP, 14 Jun 2016)
Between October 2014 and February 2015, Namibia experienced highly erratic rainfall patterns that negatively impacted the planting and cultivation seasons. The recent 2016 assessment done by the office of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Agriculture estimated that 729,134 people were food insecure and 595,839 need immediate assistance due to the drought situation. Prolonged dry spells and extensive flooding characterized the planting season and resulted in delayed planting and destroyed crops. As a result, the 2014/15 crop production yields were 46% below average which put parts of country at high risk of food insecurity. (IFRC, 03 Aug 2016.)
November marks the normal start of the lean season in most of the region, but most countries experienced an earlier than normal start to the lean season this year because of the impact of the El Niño-drought in late 2015 and early 2016. Poor households in the most affected parts of the region including areas in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe continue facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity outcomes with increasing areas likely falling into Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes during the peak period (Jan-Mar 2017) in the absence of adequate humanitarian assistance. (FEWS NET, 23 Dec 2016)
Southern Africa now facing the peak of the El Niño-induced drought food security crisis, which is expected to last at least until the harvest in March/April 2017. Until then, WFP and its partners will maintain expanded operations, aiming to reach more than 13 million vulnerable people with relief, recovery, resilience and development activities ... WFP reached 9.9 million people in December 2016 and 10.6 million in January 2017. As of March 2017, $833 million has been raised for the humanitarian programmes in the RIASCO Action Plan, leaving a gap of $448,000. However, without additional funding, critical humanitarian needs will not be met. (OCHA, 6 Mar 2017)
- SADC: Regional Humanitarian Appeal (Jun 2016)
- FAO Southern Africa El Niño Response Plan (2016/17)
- RIASCO Action Plan for Southern Africa: Response Plan for the El Niño-induced Drought in Southern Africa (May 2016-Apr 2017)
- UNICEF El Niño Eastern & Southern Africa Region Investment Case (23 Jun 2016)
- Tropical Cyclone ENAWO, Category 4, Maximum sust wind speed: 231 km/h. Maximum storm surge: 1.0m. Main drivers of damage are high wind speeds in the coastal regions of the storm path and extreme precipitation further inland.
Average selling price of maize grain went up slightly from $0.42/kg to $0.43/kg. Notable price increases were recorded in Shurugwi and Mberengwa districts.
Agriculture & Food Security Updates
• The Comprehensive Livelihoods, Food Security, and Nutrition Vulnerability Assessment (ZimVAC) indicate that 3.4 million people are currently food insecure (Oct-Dec). This number is expected to increase to 4.1 million people at the peak of the lean season, from January to March 2017.
"People think sometimes that insurance is the solution for everything. It is not correct"
By Alex Whiting
LONDON, March 6 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More developing countries urgently need insurance to cushion their farmers against weather extremes that can worsen poverty, but it is no magic bullet to ward off the escalating impacts of climate change, experts say.
The burning question of how to stop drought becoming a major crisis - especially in Africa - has caused many to eye insurance as a possible answer.
“Investing in a response now is an investment for the future”
(MAPUTO, 2 March 2017) - Aid agencies are calling on the international community to assist communities affected by Cyclone Dineo following yesterday’s launch of an appeal by the United Nations.
The agencies work together as the COSACA, a consortium of humanitarian NGOs composed by Concern Worldwide, Oxfam, Save the Children and CARE supporting the Government of Mozambique. The appeal for USD10.2 million will support 150,000 people with lifesaving assistance for the next three months.
Changing weather patterns as a result of global warming are leaving farmers unable to predict the ideal conditions to plant their crops.
A $1.5 million Climate Change Technical Assistance program is helping Zimbabwe fill knowledge gaps on how climate change is affecting agro-ecological zoning, irrigation, and livestock.
The technical assistance also seeks to mainstream climate change into public investment planning and create a pipeline of bankable climate adaptation investments.
Floods have swept through villages, destroying roads, crops and livestock
HARARE, March 3 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe has appealed for international help for victims of floods that have left 246 people dead and displaced hundreds since December when torrential rains started pounding a country emerging from severe drought.
Read more on the Thomson Reuters Foundation
Approximately 6.7 million people, about half of Malawi’s rural population, will receive assistance in February. Food insecure populations in central and southern Malawi will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) acute food insecurity outcomes, in the presence of humanitarian assistance. These outcomes are expected to continue in March, during the peak lean season. Were the humanitarian response not present, these areas would experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes.
Both large moisture surpluses and deficits continue to significantly impact different parts of Africa
Africa Weather Hazards
Since December, an increased locust numbers and breeding have been reported in western Mauritania, Western Sahara, and northeastern Sudan according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Below-average and erratic rainfall since December has resulted in strong moisture deficits, degraded ground conditions, and poor crop prospects across parts of northeastern Mozambique.
The 2016/2017 La Nina season is in contra distinction to the 2015/2016 season characterised by the El Nino phenomenon. In essence, this entails an astounding shift from a drought condition to an excessively wet situation. By mid February 2017, most areas in the country had received above normal rainfall and the ground was already saturated.
Strategic reserve is half its optimal size
Government's main focus is on fall armyworm
Fears pest will infest sugarcane and spread (Adds detail, quote)
By MacDonald Dzirutwe
HARARE, March 2 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe, which is recovering from drought and battling a pest that threatens its maize crop, has budgeted $140 million to buy maize from farmers for its strategic reserve, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made told parliament on Thursday.
• Many countries across the African continent face recurrent complex emergencies, frequent food insecurity, cyclical drought, and sudden-onset disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and storms. In FY 2016, as in previous years, USAID/OFDA not only responded to urgent needs resulting from disasters, but also supported DRR programs that built resilience and improved emergency preparedness, mitigation, and response capacity at local, national, and regional levels.
Global harvests strong but hunger persists amid chronic conflict zones
Food security emergencies are likely to increase
2 March 2017, Rome - Global food supply conditions are robust, but access to food has been dramatically reduced in areas suffering civil conflicts, while drought conditions are worsening food security across swathes of East Africa, according to the new edition of FAO's Crop Prospects and Food Situation report.
La faim persiste dans les zones de conflits chroniques malgré de bonnes récoltes mondiales
Les urgences liées à la sécurité alimentaire sont appelées à augmenter
Crisis outcomes expected through at least March due to drought, floods, and cyclone effects
Pretoria – As the Western Cape faces a serious drought due to poor rainfall during winter, the Department of Water and Sanitation has informed the agricultural sector of 10 percent additional water restrictions.
The demand for water in the province has steadily increased due to the growing population and economy. This, as well as poor rainfall, has added significant pressure on water supply.
Food insecurity to improve in traditional surplus areas, but persist in marginal production areas
Below-average second (main) season rice harvest is expected in May-June