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18 Feb 2018 description

Key messages

  • International prices of wheat and maize were generally firmer in January, supported by weather-related concerns and a weaker US dollar. Export price quotations of rice also strengthened mainly buoyed by renewed Asian demand.

  • In East Africa, in the Sudan, prices of the main staples: sorghum, millet and wheat, rose sharply for the third consecutive month in January and reached record highs, underpinned by the removal of wheat subsidies and the strong depreciation of the Sudanese Pound.

12 Feb 2018 description

BACKGROUND

Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), FAW, is an insect native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas. Its larval stage (photo) feeds on more than 80 plant species, including maize, rice, sorghum, millet, sugarcane, vegetable crops, and cotton. FAW can cause significant yield losses if not well managed. It can have a number of generations per year and the moth can fly up to 100 km per night. Its modality of introduction along with its biological and ecological adaptation across Africa are still speculative.

12 Feb 2018 description

Early action crucial to avert crisis

09 February 2018, Johannesburg/Harare - Prolonged dry spells, erratic rainfall, high temperatures and the presence of the voracious fall armyworm have significantly dampened Southern Africa’s current agricultural season’s cereal production prospects. Early action in the form of consolidating information through assessments and anticipatory measures that reduce the impact of threats are crucial for an effective response.

09 Feb 2018 description

JOHANNESBURG – The twin scourges of another prolonged dry spell and an invasive crop-eating worm are set to sharply curtail harvests across southern Africa, driving millions of people – most of them children – into severe hunger, warns the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

08 Feb 2018 description

Highlights

  • Erratic rainfall, high temperatures and persistent Fall Armyworm infestation lower cereal crop production prospects for 2018 in southern Africa.

  • In the absence of consistent rains for the remainder of the season, dry conditions experienced in December to January will further diminish water supplies for domestic, agricultural and commercial use.

  • These conditions are likely to have far reaching consequences on access to adequate food and nutrition and ability of farmers to produce in the 2018/19 consumption year.

01 Feb 2018 description

HIGHLIGHTS

• Overall humanitarian needs decrease as Southern Africa recovers from 2015/2016 El Niño-related drought conditions

• Tropical Cyclone Ava results in more than 50 deaths in Madagascar

• Recent analyses project mixed food security outcomes across Southern Africa through mid-2018

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

24 Jan 2018 description

Highlights

  • Dry conditions intensified in the southern half of the region, threatening production prospects in several areas. Abnormally high temperatures accompanied these dry conditions. Short term rainfall forecasts suggest little respite in the near-term.

  • Good rains were received in the northern half of the region, promoting good crop conditions.

  • A cyclone made landfall in Madagascar, causing fatalities, displacement of populations, damage to infrastructure and flooding of thousands of hectares planted to rice.

19 Jan 2018 description

Cyclical drought, food insecurity, cyclones, floods, disease outbreaks, and complex emergencies present significant challenges to vulnerable populations throughout the Southern Africa region. Between FY 2008 and FY 2017, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a range of natural and man-made disasters.

27 Dec 2017 description

A mixed start of season experienced during the 2017/18 rainfall season

Key Messages

22 Dec 2017 description

Highlights

  • Good rains were received in the northern half of the region.
  • Low rainfall in the southern half of the region led to delays in planting and crop moisture stress in some areas.
  • Vegetation conditions deteriorated in southern and eastern parts of the region.
  • A fall armyworm outbreak has affected 20 out of 28 districts in Malawi.

Regional Summary

20 Dec 2017 description

Poor households in Chemba District are likely facing Crisis outcomes

KEY MESSAGES

  • Despite the peak of the lean season, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected to persist countrywide, except in the interior and remote areas of Chemba District in Sofala Province where poor households are likely facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3). In nearby districts of Mutarara, Doa, and Moatize in Tete Province, Caia in Sofala Province, and Tambara in Manica Province, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely to continue until the April harvest.

14 Dec 2017 description

PROJECTED FOOD ASSISTANCE NEEDS FOR JUNE 2018

11 Dec 2017 description

Key messages

↗ International prices of wheat and maize remained relatively stable in November, reflecting good supply conditions, while export quotations of rice strengthened amid increased buying interest and currency movements.

07 Dec 2017 description

Strong cereal harvests are keeping global food supplies buoyant, but localised drought, flooding and protracted conflicts have intensified and perpetuated food insecurity, according to the new edition of FAO's Crop Prospects and Food Situation report. Some 37 countries, 29 of which are in Africa, require external assistance for food, according to the report.

01 Dec 2017 description

Highlights

  • Onset of seasonal rains is delayed in parts of South Africa and Lesotho
  • Rainfall season has started on time in northern parts of the region, and most other areas are expected to experience onset of rains in November
  • Integrated pest management strategies have been recommended for countering fall armyworm outbreaks

Regional Summary

27 Nov 2017 description

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Southern Africa continues to recover from the 2015/2016 El Niño-induced drought, which by January 2017 had affected about 41 million people across the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)1. The substantial government- and SADC-led response, supported by $900 million from the international humanitarian community2, empowered farmers to take advantage of a good 2016/2017 rainfall season, delivering an April 2017 cereal harvest 3 per cent above the 5-year average.