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
According to the IPC Analysis, as for June-September 2018, Lubombo region is classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) with 122 657 people or 25% of the population in Crisis conditions. Hhohho and Manzini regions are classified at Minimal level of food insecurity (IPC Phase 1), and Shiselweni region is classified at Stressed level (IPC Phase 2).
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 Office of Press Relations
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October 15, 2018
Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes likely to prevail in southern and central regions through the lean season
Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes projected in central and southern Malawi
Food insecurity worsening in the South as an early lean season begins
The Government of Malawi, through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), will from the month of September 2018, undertake a once-off maize distribution exercise targeting acute food-insecure households in 26 districts of the country, pending the final Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) report and development of the 2018/2019 Food Insecurity Response Plan.
• 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.
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
Households in southern and central Malawi will face food and livelihoods deficits
Crisis outcomes emerging in parts of southern semiarid areas
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).
Southwestern Madagascar in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to below normal recent harvests
The lean season in the South which normally ranges from 3 to 6 months, between September and March, recently ended. Poor household struggled to meet their food needs in April and adopted coping strategies such as reducing their non-food expenditure, withdrawing children from school, eating immature crops, and selling livestock.
Minimal (IPC Phase 1) area outcomes are projected for most of the outlook period
Stressed outcomes persist in southern and central regions despite harvest season