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. 3, September 2018
- Southern Africa El Niño/La Niña Situation Overview (30 September 2017)
- Fall Armyworm keeps spreading and becomes more destructive
- Southern Africa | Extended Dryness and Food Insecurity – ECHO Daily Map | 13/03/2018
- Madagascar: Vulnerability Assessment Committee Results 2018
Conflicts and climatic shocks aggravate current food insecurity in many countries
Some 39 countries in need of food assistance - FAO expects slightly lower global cereal production
20 September 2018, Rome - Persistent conflicts and climate-related shocks are currently driving high levels of severe food insecurity, particularly in Southern African and Near East countries, which continue to require humanitarian assistance, according to a new report published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today.
• The 2017-18 rainfall season was characterized by a late start, an extended mid-season dry spell (December-January) and heavy rains from February into April. The dry spell caused moisture stress and wilting of the early planted crops in many areas in Botswana, south-western Madagascar, southern Malawi, southern and some central parts of Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
About 1.26 million people are expected to be severely food insecure in the Grand Sud and Grand Sud-Est regions of Madagascar between July and September 2018, according to the results of the Integrated Phase Classification food insecurity analysis conducted in June 2018.
Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Food Security Project / Esther Ngumbi
This post was co-authored with Esther Ngumbi.
64 mt of food assistance distributed
US$1.13 m six months (Jun-Nov 2018) net funding requirements, representing 47% of total
35,548 people assisted in May 2018
35,272 refugees benefited from general food distribution in Luwani and Dzaleka camps
884,522 children benefiting from school meals in 13 food insecure districts
88,000 people suffering from acute malnutrition received nutrition treatment
3,500 mt of food assistance distributed
- Most of Southern Africa experienced erratic rainfall, delayed start of rainy season and extended midseason dry-spell from December to February which have wilted early planted crops in the region.
- In March 2018, significant rainfall was received in central and eastern parts of South Africa.
Cereal production during the upcoming harvest season in Southern Africa is expected to be below average, despite the heavy late rains, which benefitted the late planted crops. This is due to a late start of the rainy season, minimal to no rains during the critical planting season (December -January), high temperatures and the prevalence of Fall Armyworm (FAW).
Ademola Braimoh, Alex Mwanakasale, Antony Chapoto, Rhoda Rubaiza, Brian Chisanga, Ngao Mubanga, Paul Samboko, Asa Giertz, and Grace Obuya
The Early Warning Early Action initiative has been developed with the understanding that disaster losses and emergency response costs can be drastically reduced by using early warning analysis to act before a crisis escalates into an emergency.
Early actions strengthen the resilience of at-risk populations, mitigate the impact of disasters and help communities, governments and national and international humanitarian agencies to respond more effectively and efficiently
José Graziano da Silva,
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Cereal production in 2018 expected to decline to below-average level of around 3 million tonnes, mostly reflecting unfavourable rains
Maize prices rise seasonally at start of 2018, but remained below year-earlier levels on account of overall improved supply situation
Food security expected to worsen later in the year in specific areas affected by dry weather conditions
Production of maize forecast to fall in 2018
Sorghum makes important contributions to national food supply in the counties covered in this report, accounting for the majority of grain production in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia (82, 76 and 55 percent, respectively), and smaller amounts in Ethiopia and Uganda (18 and ten percent, accordingly). Sorghum accounts over half of grain consumption in South Sudan and Sudan and nine to 18 percent in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Uganda, respectively.
Malawi is experiencing the most severe prolonged dry spells and army worm infestation, which are threatening the agricultural production of 3.8 million people. With little or no rain in parts of the country and fall army worms still destroying crop fields, the outlook is alarming which will result in hunger for over 3.8 million people till the next planting season. Even before the prolonged dry spells, Malawi Government had declared a national disaster in December 2017 because of fall army worms.
Friday, 23 March 2018 13:30 GMT
Malawi declared the armyworms a national disaster in December after discovering the pests had spread to 22 of Malawi's 28 districts
Dry spell exacerbating risk to crop output
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Food security outcomes expected to deteriorate earlier than usual in drought affected areas