West Africa: Armyworm Infestation - Mar 2017Ongoing
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. In several areas, people only eat once a day, and their meals – based on corn, cassava or potatoes - do not meet their daily nutritional and calorie needs. Much of the recent deterioration is down to the worsening plight of people in Kasaï. (WFP, FAO, 14 Aug 2017)
Food prices have increased following the spread of fall armyworm in nearly 80 of the country’s 145 territories (each of the 26 provinces is divided into several territories), with a significant impact on maize production. (ACAPS, 12 Oct 2017)
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)
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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Average to below average 2017 season crops due to reduced planting area, erratic rainfall in parts and invasion of Fall Armyworms
Inflation rates forecast to slightly increase in 2017
Food and livestock prices at high levels driven by limited supplies and ongoing conflict which continue to disrupt markets
Humanitarian crisis in Kasai Region and extension of inter-communal conflicts in Tanganyika Region and in eastern part of country continue to deteriorate food security situation
ANIMAL DISEASES THAT ALSO AFFECT HUMANS
Zoonoses are diseases that are naturally transmissible between animals and humans. It is estimated that about 60 percent of known human infectious diseases originate from animals, and that 75 percent of newly emerging diseases affecting humans are zoonotic, with most coming from wildlife. Zoonoses can cause severe and potentially fatal illness in animals and humans, as well as serious epidemics and pandemics.
The agricultural production is expected to be overall average to above-average in West Africa and the Sahel.
Fodder deficits persist in the extreme North-East of Chad, the pastoral zone of Niger, Northern Senegal and the agro-pastoral zone of Mauritania.
The Fall Armyworm continues to spread in the region, the situation remains very worrying.
Les productions agricoles pourraient être globalement moyennes à bonnes en Afrique de l’Ouest et au Sahel.
Des déficits fourragers persistent dans l’extrême Nord-Est du Tchad, la zone pastorale du Niger, le Nord du Sénégal et la zone agropastorale de la Mauritanie.
La chenille légionnaire d’automne continue sa propagation dans la région et avec l’évolution de pays en pays, la situation reste très préoccupante.
Rainfall deficits in September in Mauritania and Senegal may affect crops
The seasonal rainfall has been globally average to above average (Figure 1 and Figure 2) over most of the region, but September rainfall has been below average over most of the Sahelian zone with pockets of severe deficits in areas of Senegal, Mauritania, Niger and Chad.
Crops that feed 200 million people at risk from destructive march of fall armyworm, as agriculture experts call for urgent action
The crops that 200 million people rely on in Africa are under threat from a caterpillar that is spreading throughout the continent, agriculture experts have warned.
Read more on the Guardian.
1. Situation analysis
The world’s anti-hunger organizations have an opportunity to prevent widespread destruction of African crops by stopping the spread of an insect, warn three of the most respected thinkers on international agriculture.
However, the international community must act swiftly, in cooperation, and on a large scale to do so. The fall armyworm reportedly has a foothold in 28 nations in Africa, and it feeds on crops that include maize, which more than 200 million Africans depend on for food security.
By Miriam Gathigah
NAIROBI, Oct 12 2017 (IPS) - A growing number of African countries are increasingly becoming food insecure as delayed and insufficient rainfall, as well as crop damaging pests such as the ongoing outbreak of the fall armyworm, cause the most severe maize crisis in the last decade.
Experts have warned that as weather patterns become even more erratic and important crops such as maize are unable to resist the fall armyworm infestation, there will not be enough food on the table.
The Global Early Warning – Early Action (EWEA) report on food security and agriculture is developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The report is part of FAO’s EWEA system, which aims to translate forecasts and early warnings into anticipatory action.
The Bulletin highlights outbreaks of transboundary pests and diseases that have the potential to impact food and nutrition security in Southern Africa. It also captures recently concluded and upcoming events that are being organized by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and stakeholders to improve the capacities of partners in preparedness and response to crop and livestock emergencies in the region.
Members of PREGEC met in Conakry to discuss the progress of this year’s agro-pastoral campaign, the agricultural outlook and the food situation. In preparation for the campaign, governments and their partners made significant strides in helping farmers and pastoralists obtain agricultural inputs (seeds, fertilisers and pesticides) and veterinary materials (vaccines). In addition, food and humanitarian assistance measures have been implemented for vulnerable populations.
African countries are facing a maize shortage and losses running into billions of dollars due to the devastation caused by the fall armyworm.
A new report released by the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (Cabi) shows that improper management of the armyworm could cost 10 of the continent’s major maize producing economies between $2.2 billion and $5.5 billion per year in lost maize harvests.
Conflicts drag down food security amid growing global food output
FAO report notes rebounding harvests in most low-income food-deficit countries
21 September 2017, Rome-- Robust harvests in Latin America and rebounding agricultural conditions in Southern Africa are on course to improve the global food supply situation, but ongoing civil conflicts and climate-related shocks are affecting progress towards hunger reduction, according to the new edition of FAO's Crop Prospects and Food Situation report.
Note de l'auteur Cet article fait partie d’un projet spécial traitant des conséquences du changement climatique sur la sécurité alimentaire et sur les moyens de subsistance des petits paysans au Kenya, au Nigeria, au Sénégal et au Zimbabwe
HARARE, 14 septembre 2017
Mon frère est un agriculteur zimbabwéen qui s’en sortait plutôt bien, mais c’est aujourd’hui un homme inquiet. La saison dernière, un nuisible vorace a englouti une bonne partie de son maïs et il craint le pire pour la prochaine saison de croissance, qui commence en novembre.
Fall armyworm, or FAW, is new to Africa but has made an immediate impact. The caterpillar, originally from Latin America, was first detected in Nigeria in January 2016. By January 2017 it had reached South Africa – spreading officially to 24 countries within a year on a lightening journey down the continent.
Read more on IRIN.