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)
Katelyn Faulkner, Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Pretoria
Brett Hurley, Senior Lecturer Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria
Mark Robertson, Associate Professor Zoology & Entomology, University of Pretoria
This article is the first in a series The Conversation Africa is running on invasive species.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Cereal production in 2017 expected to nearly double compared to drought-reduced 2016 output
High yields reflect beneficial weather and good access to agricultural inputs
Cereal prices fall, while import requirements in 2017/18 forecast to contract on account of production rebound
Food security conditions anticipated to improve in 2017/18
Cereal production in 2017 forecast to rebound strongly
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Maize production foreseen to recover in 2017 on account of improved weather conditions
Import forecast cuts in 2017/18 marketing year, reflecting expectations of larger maize output
Declining prices of maize on account of lower import prices and good production prospects
Food security conditions expected to improve in 2017/18
Cereal production forecast to recover in 2017
In April, WFP conducted the last food distribution of the Emergency Operation (EMOP). A Budget Revision was approved to extend cash based transfer (CBT) activities through May.
In April, WFP assisted 213,238 people with emergency assistance, of which 71,090 received food and 142,148 received CBT. In May, 56,973 people received CBT.
WFP’s Food by Prescription project remains underfunded, and pipeline breaks are expected in July 2017.
Above-average harvests likely to lead to largely Minimal food insecurity outcomes
Le rapport de la FAO souligne des pertes importantes dues à la perturbation des activités agricoles, à la hausse des prix et au déplacement des moyens d’existence
Food insecurity strains deepen amid civil conflict and drought
FAO report notes heavy toll of disrupted farming, higher prices and displaced livelihoods
8 June 2017, Rome-- Large agricultural harvests in some regions of the world are buoying global food supply conditions, but protracted fighting and unrest are increasing the ranks of the displaced and hungry elsewhere, according to the new edition of FAO's Crop Prospects and Food Situation report.
La chenille légionnaire d’automne (Spodoptera frugiperda) est un insecte ravageur qui attaque plus de 80 espèces de plantes, causant des dégâts à des céréales d’importance économique telles que le maïs, le riz et le sorgho, mais aussi aux cultures maraîchères et au coton.
• Harvests begin across Southern Africa, improving food security for vulnerable households
• Projections for June to September indicate Minimal levels of food insecurity across the region
• USAID/FFP provides nearly $270,000 in new funding to UNICEF to continue nutrition
JUNE 2, 2017 FROM CGIAR News from CGIAR System Organization
The recent appearance of the fall armyworm, an insect-pest, which causes damage to more than 80 crop species in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, poses a serious challenge and significant risk to the region’s food security.
The April 2017 harvest is expected to be above-average, with Tanzania, parts of Madagascar and northern Mozambique the exceptions. A good agricultural season is critical after two consecutive droughts led to unprecedented levels of food insecurity. Countries in the region continue to battle several hazards with potentially detrimental effects on food security, including an armyworm outbreak.
Preliminary assessments, conducted between mid-February and end of April 2017, have shown 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).
Significant improvements in food security expected across the region
Imagine living in a world where it’s too expensive to eat. I don’t mean a night out at a restaurant or missing the occasional pastry. I mean when it’s too expensive to keep good nutritious food on the table. That’s what’s happening in the part of Africa where I live.
A nutritious balanced diet is out of reach for many, and a lot of people eat only once or twice a day.
For much of the last year, more than 20 million people here were dependent on food assistance; they make up half of the 40 million Africans affected by the worst drought in 35 years.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Production of maize expected to exceed 3 million tonnes in 2017
Cereal supply situation forecast to improve in 2017/18, with increased potential for exports
Following stressed situation in previous year, food security conditions anticipated to ameliorate in 2017/18 reflecting expected increase in agricultural production
Production of maize in 2017 expected at above-average level
New supplies are lowering maize prices
Negative coping levels have been stable for four consecutive months
Purchasing power remains stable amid lower prices and a fall in manual labour wages
New admissions of malnourished children, adolescents and adults continue to rise
Namibia has received rain associated with La Niña following four years of drought. However, the heavy rains have caused flooding which has affected 155,924 people, displacing 3,331. The Government of Namibia has responded with shelter and services for the displaced. The caseload of displaced people is expected to increase as river levels continue to rise.
Tackling the menace of the tenacious fall armyworm pest and avoiding economic hardship for smallholders across Africa requires quick and coordinated action, a massive awareness campaign, scientific innovation and multi-institutional collaboration, indicated scientists attending the Stakeholders Consultation Meeting on the Fall Armyworm in Nairobi this week.
- Good rains continued to the end of season in most areas, resulting in positive production expectations in several countries.
- The high seasonal rainfall improved dam and groundwater levels, providing good water availability for irrigation over the coming seasons.
- Preliminary reports suggest the regional impact of the Fall Armyworm was not severe. However, experts advise robust, coordinated control measures for coming seasons.