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
- Africa Regional Media Hub Press Briefing on World Food Day with USAID Bureau for Food Security Assistant Administrator Beth Dunford and USAID Food for Peace Director Matt Nims via Teleconference
- Mozambique: Acute Food Insecurity Situation (April - September 2018) [EN/PT]
- Eswatini: Acute Food Insecurity Situation in June 2018 and Projections for October 2018 - February 2019
- Conserving Africa’s Precious Resource Base While Fighting Hunger
Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), FAW, is an insect pest that feeds on more than 80 crop species, causing damage to economically important cultivated cereals such as maize, rice, sorghum, and also to legumes as well as vegetable crops and cotton.
Food security continues to improve as households enjoy better dietary diversity in most districts in monitored provinces
There is a marked increase in the share of households with high dietary diversity in Copperbelt Province
Groundnut prices plummet in Mafinga in Muchinga Province, Petauke in Eastern Province and Choma in Southern Province
Maize prices fall considerably in Nakonde in Mafinga Province, Petauke in Eastern Province and Kaoma in Western Province
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
National cereal production in 2017 forecast at above-average levels, mainly as a result of generally favourable seasonal rains
Maize prices declined on expectations of improved output in 2017, while strengthening of national currency also eased inflationary pressure
- May harvests bring down maize and pulses prices
- The use of coping strategies falls among households led by women and households receiving food assistance
- Fewer households receive food assistance as programmes are scaled down
Regional main staples prices mostly declined, and were below their respective 2016 levels in most areas. Malawi and Mozambique saw significant month-on-month (m-o-m) price decline of white maize. Zambia registered the highest drop in the number of markets in ALPS Crisis mode reflecting increased availability.
Strong recovery of maize production translates into lower prices
Abundance of food stocks lowers negative coping levels
Purchasing power rises in the Southern and Central regions
New admissions for malnourished children fall
- Despite the fall armyworm infestation experienced in most parts of the country and the very late distribution of subsidized inputs, Zambia managed to attain a record maize output due to good rainfall. Maize production is estimated at 3.61 million MT. With a carryover stock level of 567,000 MT, total maize availability will exceed the national cereal requirement by 1.18 million MT, which will be available for export.
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.