Southern Africa: Armyworm Infestation - Jan 2017Ongoing
Reports from the Zambia Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit indicate that as of 9 January 2017, close to 130,000 ha planted to maize had been affected by a severe outbreak of the Fall Armyworm, which is new to the southern African region. Of the affected area, over 68,000 ha may require re-planting. Government efforts to control the outbreak are underway...With 94% of the country’s districts affected in varying degrees, including several districts bordering Zambia’s eight neighbours in the SADC region, vigilant region-wide monitoring activities are required. (SADC, 13 Jan 2017)
A fall armyworm outbreak, the first emergence of the pest in southern Africa, is causing considerable crop damage in some countries. If the pest damage aggravates, it could dampen prospects for good crop harvests that is anticipated in the current farming season. Maize, a staple food in the region, has been the most affected, as well as other cereals including sorghum, millet and wheat. Southern Africa is reeling from the effects of two consecutive years of El Niño-induced drought that affected over 40 million people, reduced food availability by 15 percent and caused a cereal deficit of 9 million tonnes. (FAO, 3 Feb 2017)
Sixteen East and Southern African countries agreed on 16 February on urgent plans of action aimed at boosting the region’s capacity to manage emerging crop pests and livestock diseases, including armyworm and avian influenza ... Zambia has reported that almost 90 000 hectares of maize have been affected, forcing farmers to replant their crops. In Malawi some 17 000 hectares have so far been affected while in Namibia, approximately 50 000 hectares of maize and millet has been damaged and in Zimbabwe up to 130 000 hectares could be affected thus far. (FAO, 16 Feb 2017)
The first 20 days of April saw an increase in rainfall in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and South Africa, after a relatively dry March. Rainfall tapered off in late April, although some areas in Zimbabwe and central Mozambique received higher than usual rainfall amounts for this time of year ... The excessive rainfall in some areas also appears to have helped suppress the impact of the fall armyworm, a new pest which has invaded 11 SADC countries. (SADC, 28 Apr 2017)
Preliminary assessments, conducted between mid-February and the end of April 2017, showed that approximately 356,000 hectares of crops were affected by the fall armyworm infestation in seven reporting Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member states: Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia. (FAO, 26 May 2017)
Erratic rainfall, high temperatures and persistent Fall Armyworm infestation lower cereal crop production prospects for 2018 in southern Africa. (Southern Africa Food and Nutrition Security Working Group, 8 Feb 2018)
The region has been experiencing the impacts of the Fall Armyworm (FAW) since late 2016 with reports of infestations in all countries (except Lesotho and Mauritius)...Case studies conducted in 2017 in Zambia and Mozambique indicated farmer perceptions of localized FAW incidences ranging between 25%-50% and 5%-77% respectively, with a marginal impact to date. (Southern Africa Food and Nutrition Security Working Group, 29 Aug 2018)
Most read reports
- Crop Prospects and Food Situation, No. 4, December 2018
- The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) Bulletin No. 15/18 Volume 1: Food Security Forecast for the 2018/2019 Consumption Year
- FAO: El Niño 2018-19
- 2018/2019 Lean Season Food Insecurity Response Plan (November 2018)
- mVAM Malawi - Weekly Price Update #144: 7 December 2018
• The Northern Region received normal to above while the Centre and South receive below normal rainfall.
• The Centre and South experienced prolonged dry spells averaging 2-4 weeks while the North experienced minimal dry spells in isolated places.
• Fall army worms infestations were reported in all districts but unlike last year control measures were spontaneous this season thus minimising impact.
• Maize production has dropped from 3.5million MT to 2.7 million MT representing 28%.
A sharp increase in maize grain prices as the lean season progresses.
Prices of maize grain increased sharply on the local markets in the fourth week of November, signalling supply constraints induced by the below-average production due to fall armyworm and prolonged dry spells in the 2017/18 season
The weekly average price of MK 144 per kilogram is 55 percent higher than a year earlier and 7 percent higher than the five-year average.
The third round of crop estimates assessment for the 2017/2018 season conducted by Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development indicated a maize production of 2,697,959 metric tons, 28.4% drop from 3,464,139 metric tons of 2016/2017 growing season.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) has warned that there is an increased probability of drought induced El Niño weather conditions expected in the Southern part of Africa; including Zimbabwe during the upcoming 2018/2019 agricultural season. Based on the El Niño forecast (Oct 2018-Jan 2019) and looking at similar trends in previous years, below-average rainfall and a late start of erratic rains will lead to crop failure.
237mt of food assistance distributed
US$2.25 m six months (Aug 2018-Jan 2019) net funding requirements, representing 63% of total requirements
54,278 people assisted in August 2018
HIV and Nutrition:
As predictions for El Niño reach 83 percent, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has begun preparing for its potential impact on the upcoming planting season across Southern Africa with a recent workshop in Johannesburg.
The Climate Prediction Centre is predicting El Niño climatic conditions during the main 2018-19 growing season with 70-75% probability while IRI has increased the probability to more than 85%. Furthermore, the forecasts suggest a likelihood of a weak to moderate El Niño event. Historically El Niño climatic conditions have resulted in reduced rainfall across the southern part of Southern Africa.
High risk countries and potential impacts on food security and agriculture
In view of the potential impact of the 2018/19 El Niño on food security and agriculture, high risk countries in Southern Africa, Horn of Africa, Asia and the Pacific and Latin America should be prioritized for further monitoring, analysis and early action.
Increase resilience and ensure sustainable structures and measures are in place to promote climate-smart agriculture for increased production and productivity in the context of drought and reduced and erratic rainfall.
Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Crop and Livestock Production Department (CLPD).
4 675 farmers and 42 ward-based CLPD extension workers.
To contribute to improved food security and nutrition for vulnerable households affected by the 2015/16 El Niño-induced drought, while protecting and gradually restoring agriculture-based livelihoods.
Ministry of Agriculture (Eswatini), World Food Programme (Eswatini), Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (Malawi), District Water and Sanitation Sub-Committees (Zimbabwe).
Study suggests biopesticides should be trialled to control plague of caterpillars that’s destroying crops across the continent
Experts have identified safer, effective pesticides they believe can control a plague of caterpillars that is devastating crops across Africa.
According to the IPC Analysis, as for June-September 2018, Lubombo region is classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) with 122 657 people or 25% of the population in Crisis conditions. Hhohho and Manzini regions are classified at Minimal level of food insecurity (IPC Phase 1), and Shiselweni region is classified at Stressed level (IPC Phase 2).
The latest IPC acute food insecurity situation analysis (June 2018 with projections up to September 2018) covered 36 districts of 7 Provinces. According to the results, 531,476 people in 19 districts were classified to be in "Crisis" (IPC phase 3) and in need of urgent interventions to protect their livelihoods, reduce food shortages and increase their resilience to extreme events.
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
October 15, 2018
This article is part of a series of opinion pieces to mark World Food Day October 16.
Kalongo Chitengi, is Zambia Country Director of Self Help Africa, a Farming First supporter.
LUSAKA, Zambia, Oct 10 2018 (IPS) - Rosemary Chate’s seven children gather around the table inside their home in Malela, a village in Zambia’s remote Northern Province. They dig their spoons into bowls of food prepared by their mother – for the second time that day.
1.26 million people and 5 regions affected by rain shortfalls and failed harvests
The food security and nutritional situation is alarming due to failed harvests and rain shortfalls
Around 400,438 people are in IPC emergency phase and 860,883 people are in crisis phase, in the southern and south-eastern regions
WFP plans on reaching 849,000 people from this population
Fall Armyworm (FAW) arrived in Namibia during the 2016/2017 cropping season, following several years of difficulties for the agricultural sector caused by recurrent droughts. However, during the 2016/2017 season, weather conditions were generally favourable throughout most of the country – excluding the western and the southern regions.
Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes likely to prevail in southern and central regions through the lean season
Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes projected in central and southern Malawi