East Africa: Armyworm Infestation - Mar 2017Ongoing
As millions of east African farmers seek to recover from a devastating drought, they face a new threat – the fall armyworm. The pest has been recently detected in Kenya and is suspected to have entered the country from Uganda. It is also known to be present in Burundi, Ethiopia and Rwanda. The fall armyworm was first reported in western Kenya by farmers in March 2017, and immediately confirmed by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation. The initial counties infested were Busia, TransNzoia, Bungoma, Uasin Gishu and Nandi. (FAO, 25 Apr 2017)
As of 23 May, Fall Armyworm has affected more than 143,000 hectares of land in major maize and wheat-producing counties [in Kenya]. [FAO] and the Ministry of Agriculture have adopted a planning response figure of 800,000 hectares, which requires US$33.5 million for pesticides and awareness campaigns in the medium term. US$6.6 million is required for an immediate response. (OCHA, UNCT Kenya, 23 May 2017)
In collaboration with [FAO] and other development partners, the Government of Ethiopia has intensified efforts to protect major maize growing areas from the ravage of the fall armyworm. The fall armyworm, which first arrived in Africa in 2016, was intercepted on a few hectares of irrigated maize fields in southern Ethiopia in the last week of February 2017. It has now covered about 52 962 hectares in 144 districts in three of the major maize-growing regional states – Gambella, Oromia and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR)...The Government of Ethiopia allocated nearly USD 2 million to tackle the problem. (FAO, 30 May 2017)
[F]all armyworm, which has caused extensive damage to maize crops in southern Africa, has spread to the east and has worsened the situation. In Kenya, the pest has so far affected about 200 000 hectares of crops, and in Uganda more than half the country's 111 districts are affected. (FAO, 14 Jul 2017)
Although the pastoral northeast (Garissa, Wajir, Mandera and parts of Tana River counties) and pastoral north-west (Mainly Turkana, West Pokot and Marsabit) are generally classified as Stressed under the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), there are about 700,000 people here in the Crisis phase of food insecurity. After two to three poor seasons, these households have not fully recovered. Most of them lost productive assets during last year’s drought and face considerable food gaps.
Biophysical Indicators (Environmental indicators)
- Below normal rains were recorded during the month under review.
- The state of water sources was normal at this time of the year.
- The 3-month Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) in July recorded above normal vegetation greenness as compared to the long term mean at this time of the year.
Since mid-July, persistent and well above-average seasonal rains in Sudan caused significant levels of flooding. According to reports, over 45,000 people have been affected in West Kordofan, Kassala, El Gezira, Sennar, and Northern states. Meanwhile, large areas of western Ethiopia, southeastern South Sudan, and northern Uganda have experienced significant rainfall deficits for the past month, resulting in soil and crop moisture stress.
Available harvests, low staple prices, and increased milk production improving food security
The Early Warning Early Action initiative has been developed with the understanding that disaster losses and emergency response costs can be drastically reduced by using early warning analysis to act before a crisis escalates into an emergency.
Early actions strengthen the resilience of at-risk populations, mitigate the impact of disasters and help communities, governments and national and international humanitarian agencies to respond more effectively and efficiently.
José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General
Food security improves significantly in southeastern areas, but continued assistance is needed
Above-average rainfall received in the north, with increasing risk of early season floods
Record-high rains continue to drive improvements but localized floods strain livelihoods
Humanitarian Situation and Needs
Record-high rainfall generally improving outcomes despite flooding impacts
Biophysical Indicators (Environmental Indicators)
- Below normal rainfall was received during the month.
- Forage condition ranged between fair to good across the livelihood zones but with declining trend.
- The 3-month vegetation Condition Index (VCI) was moderate.
International prices of wheat and maize were generally firmer in January, supported by weather-related concerns and a weaker US dollar. Export price quotations of rice also strengthened mainly buoyed by renewed Asian demand.
In East Africa, in the Sudan, prices of the main staples: sorghum, millet and wheat, rose sharply for the third consecutive month in January and reached record highs, underpinned by the removal of wheat subsidies and the strong depreciation of the Sudanese Pound.
↗ International prices of wheat and maize remained relatively stable in November, reflecting good supply conditions, while export quotations of rice strengthened amid increased buying interest and currency movements.
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.
The benchmark US wheat price declined in October mostly because of higher supply prospects while maize quotations firmed due to rain-induced harvest delays. International rice prices strengthened in October, mainly reflecting seasonally tight Japonica and fragrant supplies.
Drought Situation & EW Phase Classification
The county experienced rainfall during the month under review with a distribution in time of 10-13 days. In reference to Nasukuta rainfall station, the cumulative rainfall for the 6-month period (April-September 2017) represents 90% of the total rainfall received normally for the period.
Drought Situation & EW Phase Classification
Enhanced rainfall with a temporal distribution of 17-19 days for highlands and 10-12 days for the lowlands was received over the month under analysis. Cumulative rainfall received during the 6-month period (May-Oct 2017) represents 108% of the total rainfall received normally for the period.
International prices of wheat increased in September mostly because of weather-related concerns, while maize quotations fell further on crop harvest pressure. International rice prices remained generally firm, supported by seasonally tight availabilities of fragrant rice and strong demand for higher quality Indica supplies.
Deyr rains perform poorly in early October in southern and central Somalia
The Deyr (October to December) season is delayed over southern and central Somalia, with rainfall totals less than 80 percent of average across many areas. In southeastern Ethiopia, rainfall has been average to slightly above average, but concentrated within 1-2 days of rainfall.