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
- Madagascar: Vulnerability Assessment Committee Results 2018
- Southern Africa | Extended Dryness and Food Insecurity – ECHO Daily Map | 13/03/2018
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.
Malawi was impacted by dry spells in between December and January mostly in the southern part of the country and some districts in the Central Region – affected production of most key crops. Flooding in March towards the end of the season and the FAM infestation also negatively impacted agricultural production. Overall, maize production declined by 28.4% compared to last year and was 20.3% below the 5-year average. There was also a decrease in the production of pulses (-10%), soybeans (-19%) and beans (-5.5%).
• 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.
The **FAWRisk-Map** incorporates diverse socio-economic and agro-ecological data so that responders can visualise where the underlying risk of household **food insecurity** due to Fall Armyworm is highest. The tool consists of a number of layers allowing users to disaggregate risk into its constituent parts. By highlighting potential "hotspots", the tool is intended to assist decision-makers in prioritising and preparing for early action in targeted areas.
Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Food Security Project / Esther Ngumbi
This post was co-authored with Esther Ngumbi.
Poor rainfall will again lead to below-average main staple harvests in Southern Madagascar
• National rice production will likely be 3.6 Million MT which is 17 percent higher than last year and near the 5-year average. Overall national maize production will likely be 264,000 MT which is 6 percent lower than last year and 21 percent below the 5-year average. National cassava production will likely be 2.6 Million MT which is 3 percent higher than last year but 7 percent below the 5-year average.
Food deficits projected for poor households due to constrained food and income sources
Crisis outcomes likely to persist until the next main harvest in March 2019
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Maize production in 2018 forecast at above-average level, but set to decline on yearly basis reflecting dry weather conditions in southern and central parts
National maize supplies forecast to be generally adequate in 2018/19 marketing year (April/March) on account of larger opening stocks and above-average output
Prices of maize remained mostly stable in 2018 and lower on yearly basis
Households in southern and central Malawi will face food and livelihoods deficits
27 June 2018, Rome - Fall Armyworm keeps spreading to larger areas within countries in sub-Saharan Africa and becomes more destructive as it feeds on more crops and different parts of crops, increasingly growing an appetite for sorghum, in addition to maize. The pest could spread to Northern Africa, Southern Europe and the Near East, warned the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today. The agency called for a massive scaling up of the Fall Armyworm campaign to involve more than 500 000 farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization and Pennsylvania State University joined forces to develop and launch an innovative, talking app - Nuru - to help African farmers recognize Fall Armyworm, a new and fast-spreading crop pest in sub-Saharan Africa, so that they can take immediate steps to destroy it and curb its spread.
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