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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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
The current dry spell has been exacerbated by an outbreak of crop-munching fall armyworms
By Frank Phiri
LILONGWE, Jan 19 (Reuters) - A dry spell and worsening pest infestation are threatening Malawi's staple maize crop, prompting President Peter Mutharika on Friday to call on government officials to lead prayers for rain.
Read the full report on Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Presidency assures affected families of unrelenting support
DoDMA provides relief items
A cumulative total of 698 households have been critically affected by rainstorms and strong winds that struck most parts of Traditional Authorities Kachenga, Msamala, Sawali, and Nkaya in Balaka District; on Tuesday.
Adding salt to injury, the rampant fall armyworms have affected 19,000 of the 53,000 cultivated hectares of land, representing a total of 39 per cent.
Total people in need: 1.9 million
Total children (<18) in need: 932,000
Total people to be reached: 770,000
Total children to be reached: 362,000
2018 programme targets:
- 25,000 children under 5 with SAM admitted to therapeutic treatment sites
- 362,000 children under 5 supplemented with vitamin A, dewormed and screened for acute malnutrition twice in 2018
On time start of the rainy season with near to above average rainfall levels
by Andrew Mambondiyani
Fall armyworm and other new pests are making life even harder for southern Africa's embattled farmers
By Andrew Mambondiyani
MAFUKE, Zimbabwe, Dec 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Farmers in Zimbabwe are anxiously watching their crops, fearing the return of a plethora of new pests that recently spread to the southern African nation and devastated harvests this year.
Most areas have received above normal rainfall, except for parts of southern Malawi
Below normal rains received across the bulk of the country during the first half of the season
- 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.
BALTIMORE, Dec. 20, 2017 - Lutheran World Relief (LWR), an international NGO working to develop sustainable solutions to poverty, has released its 2018 Early Warning Forecast of regions it is monitoring for potential or worsening humanitarian crises over the coming year: 11 Humanitarian Hotspots for the World to Watch
Ambassador Daniel V. Speckhard, LWR president & CEO, noted that armed conflict is a thread running through the world's current crises.
Poor households in Chemba District are likely facing Crisis outcomes
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.
BLANTYRE — In Malawi, President Peter Mutharika has declared 20 of the country’s 28 districts disaster areas following an invasion by fall armyworms. The pests have destroyed the crops of nearly 140,000 farming families since the start of November.
The government is seeking international help to contain the outbreak, which President Mutharika says is a major threat to Malawi's food security.
By Tom Price
On a continent where growing enough food to eat is a constant battle for millions of families, there is a new threat: the fall armyworm. In a little less than 2 years, this pest has eaten its way from West Africa to South Africa, and is now damaging crops in virtually every country in sub-Saharan Africa.
“This pest is expected to be a major shock to an already fragile economic situation for many millions of households,” says Shaun Ferris, Catholic Relief Services’ director of agriculture and livelihoods.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Preliminary production prospects point to aboveaverage cereal output in 2018
Production of maize reached record high of 3.7 million tonnes in 2017
Exports of maize expected to increase in 2017/18, on account of ample domestic supplies
Following stressed situation in previous year, food security conditions improved in 2017/18, on back of larger agricultural output
Early production outlook favourable for 2018 crops
Pays nécessitant une aide alimentaire extérieure
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.
- 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
Thursday, 30 November 2017 15:23 GMT
Infestations of the pest have erupted across Africa
JOHANNESBURG, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Half of Malawi's maize has been infected by crop-munching armyworms, a senior government official said on Thursday.
Read more on the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
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.
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.