Southern Africa: Armyworm Infestation - Jan 2017Alert
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)
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ANIMAL DISEASES THAT ALSO AFFECT HUMANS
Zoonoses are diseases that are naturally transmissible between animals and humans. It is estimated that about 60 percent of known human infectious diseases originate from animals, and that 75 percent of newly emerging diseases affecting humans are zoonotic, with most coming from wildlife. Zoonoses can cause severe and potentially fatal illness in animals and humans, as well as serious epidemics and pandemics.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Planting of 2018 cereal crops underway
Cereal production in 2017 rebounded strongly, mostly resulting from beneficial weather conditions
Maize prices well below year-earlier levels, reflecting favourable supply situation
Food security situation improved significantly, with food insecure numbers falling by 87 percent on yearly basis
Planting of 2018 crops underway
Overall favorable food security conditions to prevail across the country until the next harvest
Crops that feed 200 million people at risk from destructive march of fall armyworm, as agriculture experts call for urgent action
The crops that 200 million people rely on in Africa are under threat from a caterpillar that is spreading throughout the continent, agriculture experts have warned.
Read more on the Guardian.
Vulnerable populations in six Southern African countries will likely require humanitarian assistance through mid-2018
FAW infestations reported in at least eight Southern Africa countries
USAID/FFP provides nearly $47 million in additional funding to improve food security throughout the region
The 2015–2016 El Niño phenomenon resulted in the worst drought in 35 years for much of southern Africa.
In the eight most-affected countries (Angola, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia,
Swaziland and Zimbabwe), an estimated 16.1 million people required assistance between December 2016 and March 2017, including some 5 million children who required urgent humanitarian assistance.
By Miriam Gathigah
NAIROBI, Oct 12 2017 (IPS) - A growing number of African countries are increasingly becoming food insecure as delayed and insufficient rainfall, as well as crop damaging pests such as the ongoing outbreak of the fall armyworm, cause the most severe maize crisis in the last decade.
Experts have warned that as weather patterns become even more erratic and important crops such as maize are unable to resist the fall armyworm infestation, there will not be enough food on the table.
The Bulletin highlights outbreaks of transboundary pests and diseases that have the potential to impact food and nutrition security in Southern Africa. It also captures recently concluded and upcoming events that are being organized by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and stakeholders to improve the capacities of partners in preparedness and response to crop and livestock emergencies in the region.
African countries are facing a maize shortage and losses running into billions of dollars due to the devastation caused by the fall armyworm.
A new report released by the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (Cabi) shows that improper management of the armyworm could cost 10 of the continent’s major maize producing economies between $2.2 billion and $5.5 billion per year in lost maize harvests.
Conflicts drag down food security amid growing global food output
FAO report notes rebounding harvests in most low-income food-deficit countries
21 September 2017, Rome-- Robust harvests in Latin America and rebounding agricultural conditions in Southern Africa are on course to improve the global food supply situation, but ongoing civil conflicts and climate-related shocks are affecting progress towards hunger reduction, according to the new edition of FAO's Crop Prospects and Food Situation report.
Improved maize supplies drove national maize and maize meal prices further down in July in all the monitored countries except South Africa (SA) where prices increased by roughly 6 percent. Moreover, national prices were considerably below their respective 5 year aver-age (5YA) except Tanzania, Lesotho and Swaziland.
Most areas across the country are experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes, with the exception of some areas in the south. Current outcomes in parts of the south are Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to reduced maize and cotton production, as well as slow recovery of livelihoods from the 2016 El Niño induced drought.
Supported two MoAIWD staff to attend a regional course on community-based migratory pest monitoring, who subsequently provided training to 168 Ministry staff at all levels on topics such as identification, biology and migratory behaviour.
Formed 200 community-based armyworm forecasting groups and 14 red locust community monitoring groups with about 1 000 members, who received training to broaden and intensify their capacity for migratory pest detection, surveillance, monitoring and preparedness.
Due to improved harvests, FEWS NET projects Minimal levels of food insecurity in Southern Africa through January 2018, with pockets of Stressed or Crisis levels in some countries
Relief actors provide targeted assistance to vulnerable populations to facilitate continued recovery
USAID/OFDA provides approximately $26 million in new funding to support cyclone- and drought-affected populations in the region
Improved maize supplies trigger significant staple price declines in the region
Regional main staples prices mostly declined, and were below their respective 2016 levels in most areas except Tanzania. Most WFP monitored markets showed normal price level in April and May for maize and maize meal reflecting increased availability. Zambia maize prices increased on average probably in anticipation of a higher price floor to bet set by the government in the coming weeks.