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)
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By Johnson Kanamugire
Likely average Season A harvests to help maintain favorable food access
Overall, the 2018 Season A harvest is expected to be average, despite some production deficits in the east. With existing income-earning opportunities and a favorable Season B rainfall forecast, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected to continue countrywide through September 2018. However, some poor households in Kayonza, Kirehe, and Nyagatare districts in Eastern Province may already be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to below-average Season A production.
By LEONCE MUVUNYI
Rwanda is making arrangements to deliver food assistance to support more than 3,000 families in the Eastern Province who need urgent assistance to combat the worst effects of a prolonged drought.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources’ (Minagri), despite other parts of the country recording good harvests in season A this year, which is currently ending, numerous households in Eastern Province have been left stranded with little or no harvests, putting them at a risk of hunger.
Favorable Season B and C harvests and falling food prices improve food security
Falling staple food prices increase better food access
Season B harvest to further improve food access
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Below-average precipitations at beginning of 2017B agricultural season
Harvest of 2017A season affected in parts by belowaverage rainfall
Maize prices at high levels due to tight national and regional supplies
Generally good food security situation, with pockets of food insecurity in some eastern and southern districts
Significant number of refugees from Burundi in need of humanitarian assistance