West Africa: Armyworm Infestation - Mar 2017
In DR Congo, since mid-December 2016, fall armyworms have destroyed thousands of hectares of maize and rice crops in the southeastern provinces Haut-Katanga, Haut-Lomami, Lualaba, Tanganyika and Sud Kivu (OCHA 15/02/2017). 63,000 hectares have been destroyed, which represents over 80% of maize production in the territories along the Zambian border (OCHA 15/02/2017; Straitstimes 26/02/2017). Taking into account the speed at which the worms spread, it is highly likely that other neighbouring provinces, especially Nord-Kivu, Ituri, Maniema and Kasai, are already affected. The extent of the spread would result in a significant impact on the local corn production (FEWSNET 28/02/2017).(ACAPS, 23 Mar 2017)
As of August 2017, the spread of fall armyworms has destroyed crops in 50 out of the country’s 145 territories. Between 50 to 80 percent of people in some of the areas affected by hunger struggle to make ends meet and to have something to eat. (WFP, FAO, 14 Aug 2017)
The number of acutely food insecure people from June to December 2017 has risen by almost 2 million since the same period in 2016. Conflict is causing widespread insecurity and population displacements in North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri, Tanganyika, Haut-Katanga and Kasai provinces. As of October 2017, 3.9 million people were internally displaced, more than 1.3 million in Kasai. Many people are eating little more than a meal a day – typically just maize or cassava root and leaves. Crops have been destroyed, production areas and market routes cut off, huge numbers of farmers displaced and planting areas severely reduced. Crop production has been affected by pest attacks such as the Fall Armyworm, which has a ected more than 80 territories. The depreciation of the local currency has resulted in more expensive and reduced imports. This, combined with limited domestic food supplies, has pushed up cereal prices. (FAO, 16 Jan 2018)
Conflict related reduction in area planted as well as destruction from the Fall Army Worm (FAW) infestation are expected to contribute towards below average 2017 crop. Both factors will likely remain relevant through the early part of 2018 and consequently result in weak expectations for 2018 harvests. (FEWS, 31 Jan 2018)
In Ghana, armyworms have ravaged around 1.4 million hectares of maize and cowpea plantations in six regions (Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Central, Western, Eastern and the Northern). In Ashanti, some 6,400 hectares of cocoa farms have also been affected. Although the infestations occur every year, experts say that this year’s outbreak is unprecedented and have urged quick action to curb further destruction as food security and livelihoods of several households is threatened. Officials from the National Disaster Management Organisation have begun distributing pesticides and a national taskforce has been set up to oversee the control of the infestation. (OCHA, 22 May 2017)
In Cameroon, as of late August, the Ministry of Agriculture informed that the fall armyworm pest had infested 6 of the central African state’s 10 regions. Armyworms have been a serious threat to food security in the country because cereals like maize, sorghum, rice and legume plants like cow-pea, peanuts and beans are increasingly being attacked every day. (VOA, 29 Aug 2017)
In Nigeria, on 5 September, FAO and the Government signed a Technical Cooperation Agreement to curtail Fall Armyworm infestation, as Minister of Agriculture appealed for enhanced FAO support to manage crop diseases in Nigeria. The objective of the TCP includes the establishment of capacities to detect, monitor and control the FAW infestation in maize production. The project is expected to improve national capacities for Fall Armyworm surveillance and monitoring in affected areas, the establishment of Public Awareness on FAW, strengthen national capacities for FAW management, restore productive capacity and enhance livelihood in the worst affected households. (FAO, 5 Sep 2017)
FAO has conducted a sub-regional FAW ToT in Abuja, Nigeria on 5 - 10 September 2017 to increase the skills and knowledge of national plant protection and extension experts and FFS practitioners (Master trainers and facilitators) on FAW in Western Africa. The trained will in turn train other staff and farmers on management of the pest in their respective countries. Topics covered were FAW identification and diagnosis, scouting, early warning systems, contingency planning, impact assessments and integrated management options for the pest. (FAO, 24 Oct 2017)
Despite the damage caused by the floods and the impact of Fall Armyworm infestations in localized areas, the aggregate cereal harvest in West Africa is expected to set another record, slightly above the 2016 output and about 9 percent above the average of the previous five years. (FAO, 1 Dec 2017)
As of 31 October 2017, the fall armyworm situation (Spodoptera frugiperda) is still worrying. Except for Mauritania, Liberia and Sierra Leone, it has been detected in all West Africa and Sahel countries. (FAO, 29 Dec 2017)
In Cabo Verde, a major and widespread attack of Fall Armyworms was reported at the national level, but had a particularly severe impact in on Santiago, Fogo and Santo Antão regions. The Fall Armyworm attacks have affected maize crops in Santiago and Fogo, the two islands that together account for about 85 percent of the maize production. (FAO, 18 Jan 2018)
As of 31 January 2018, FAW is damaging vegetable gardens in Liberia. Mali has recently requested emergency support to contain FAW expansion in the country. (FAO, 31 Jan 2018)
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- Integrated management of the Fall Armyworm on maize. A guide for Farmer Field Schools in Africa
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri
ACCRA and DONKORKROM, Ghana, Aug 17 2018 (IPS) - Paul Ayormah and his fellow farmers make their way home after hours spent manually weeding a friend’s one-acre maize farm in Ghana’s Eastern Region.
“Tomorrow it will be the turn of my maize farm,” he tells IPS.
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.
Armyworm is threatening not just maize and those who farm it but the businesses that depend on them
By Elias Ntungwe Ngalame
TOMBEL, Cameroon, June 28 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Joan Makia, 45, a farmer in Tombel, a town in Cameroon's Southwest Region, stares out at her 20-hectare maize farm, unable to hide her fear.
"This is big trouble," she said, shaking her head.
The cause of her woes is a pest called fall armyworm, which is native to the Americas, but which is now present in all but 10 African countries.
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.
Nearly 84,000 Congolese have fled to neighboring Uganda to date in 2018
Continued FAW infestations could reduce harvests in eastern DRC
USG, relief organizations respond to Ebola outbreak in northwestern DRC
Atelier de lancement du projet TCP/CMR/3605 « Appui à la gestion de la chenille légionnaire d’automne, Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith) au Cameroun »
A new initiative to strengthen multi-hazard early warning systems and to boost resilience is underway in Mali.
The participants in the regional technical consultation on the validation of the final results of the 2017-2018 cropping season and the food and nutrition situation in the Sahel and West Africa, held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 26 to 28 March 2018, issued the following statement:
This quarterly update is compiled by OCHA ROSEA to support growth in innovative policy, practice and partnerships in humanitarian action to better engage with disaster-affected communities across Southern and Eastern Africa.
CwC News in Southern & Eastern Africa
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Above-average cereal harvest gathered in 2017
Prices of coarse grains remained at high levels driven mostly by weak local currency
Food security situation improved but over 3 million in need of assistance
Above-average cereal harvest gathered in 2017
The application is vital for early detection of Fall Armyworm and guiding best response
14 March 2018, Rome - FAO has launched a mobile application to enable farmers, agricultural workers and other partners at the frontline of the fight against Fall Armyworm in Africa to identify, report the level of infestation, and map the spread of this destructive insect, as well as to describe its natural enemies and the measures that are most effective in managing it.
• Conflict continues to displace populations within DRC and to neighboring countries
• UN requests nearly $1.7 billion to meet humanitarian needs in DRC during 2018
• Cholera and polio type 2 remain critical health concerns
COUNTRIES REQUIRING EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE FOR FOOD
FAO assesses that globally 37 countries are in need of external assistance for food.
Conflicts continue to be the main factor driving the high levels of severe food insecurity.
Weather shocks have also adversely impacted food availability and access, notably in East Africa.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Cereal production in 2017 estimated at near-average levels despite localized erratic rainfall and outbreaks of Fall Armyworms
Inflation rates expected to increase in 2018 due to high Government spending combined with declining export revenues
Food and livestock prices generally at high levels driven by limited supplies and market disruptions due to ongoing conflict
Consommation alimentaire stable malgré des prix à la hausse
Points saillants :
Les résultats de l'enquête mVAM de décembre 2017 indiquent que 12% des ménages ont une consommation alimentaire pauvre ou limite, contre 15,2% lors de la précédente enquête mVAM de décembre 2016.
L’indice des stratégies de survie (rCSI) est à la baisse dans la plupart des régions, mais reste très élevé à travers le pays, avec 84% des ménages ayant utilisé au moins une de ces stratégies au cours des sept derniers jours.
FAO Director-General: explore opportunities along the food chain, including urban food markets
22 February 2018, Khartoum - Agriculture will continue to generate employment in Africa over the coming decades, but opportunities should be explored beyond agriculture throughout the food chain in order to create enough jobs for young people, especially those in rural areas, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today.
FAO launches guide to tackle Fall Armyworm in Africa head-on
16 February 2018, Rome - Faced with the infestation of millions of hectares of maize, most in the hands of smallholder farmers, and the relentless spread of Fall Armyworm (FAW) across most of Africa, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched today a comprehensive guide on the integrated pest management of the FAW on maize.
Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), FAW, is an insect native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas. Its larval stage (photo) feeds on more than 80 plant species, including maize, rice, sorghum, millet, sugarcane, vegetable crops, and cotton. FAW can cause significant yield losses if not well managed. It can have a number of generations per year and the moth can fly up to 100 km per night. Its modality of introduction along with its biological and ecological adaptation across Africa are still speculative.