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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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.
On time start of the rainy season with near to above average rainfall levels
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.
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.
- 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
Food availability and access largely remain favorable across Mozambique
Below-average household incomes to affect food access as prices increase
Minimal acute food insecurity outcomes expected to continue
Overall favorable food security conditions to prevail across the country until the next harvest
Generally favorable food security outcomes expected through May 2018
Vulnerable populations in six Southern African countries will likely require humanitarian assistance through mid-2018
FAW infestations reported in at least eight Southern Africa countries
USAID/FFP provides nearly $47 million in additional funding to improve food security throughout the region
Favorable food security conditions prevail across most of the country
- This report summarizes the supply and market outlook for maize grain in the east African countries of Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Burundi. The outlook period follows the 2017/18 marketing year (MY), spanning from July 2017 to June 2018 and covering two main harvests—the 2017 June-to-August harvest and the 2017/2018 October-to-February harvest. While the June-to-August harvest data estimates are more reliable, the October-to-February harvests are projected and may be updated as data becomes available.
Most areas across the country are experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes, with the exception of some areas in the south. Current outcomes in parts of the south are Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to reduced maize and cotton production, as well as slow recovery of livelihoods from the 2016 El Niño induced drought.