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. (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)
Most read (last 30 days)
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- Democratic Republic of Congo, Supply and Market Outlook, January 2018
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.
Between October and November 2017, a series of market assessments were conducted across Southern Africa by FEWS NET, in collaboration with key national and international partners. The findings from the assessment in eastern DRC are key inputs to this report.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Late and poorly-distributed rain lead to reduced harvest
Restricted production outlook to result in worsening food security situation Late and poorly-distributed rain to lead to reduced harvest
The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017 (SOFI) has revealed that global hunger is on the rise again after declining for more than two decades. Global hunger rose from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million people in 2016.
While conflict continues to rage and despite numerous challenges, humanitarian aid reached more people in more places across the north-east.
Après le déficit de production, l’Extrême Nord fait face à la hausse des prix des denrées de base
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.
Main season harvests came in well-below average in conflict-affected areas of northeast
Households worst-affected by conflict at the periphery of the Sambisa axis in the northeast have been unable to engage in normal livelihood activities for several consecutive seasons, and are facing large food consumption gaps and high levels of acute malnutrition. These households are facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity.
La baisse des précipitations marque la fin de la saison agricole principale à travers l’Afrique de l’Ouest et le Sahel.
Importants déficits de production de la biomasse au Sénégal, en Mauritanie et au Tchad pouvant entrainer une soudure pastorale précoce.
A l’exception de la Mauritanie, Liberia et Sierra Leone, la chenille légionnaire a été détectée dans l’ensemble des pays du Sahel et de l’Afrique de l’Ouest.
Rainfall deficits marks the end of the main crop season across West Africa and the Sahel.
Significant deficits in biomass production in Senegal, Mauritania and Chad may lead to early pastoral lean season.
Armyworm has been detected in all West African and Sahel countries, except Mauritania, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
A mixed start of season experienced during the 2017/18 rainfall 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.
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.
- 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
Violence has broken out in unexpected areas of the country, spreading from eastern provinces to central and southeastern areas as well. This has caused Africa’s largest internal displacement crisis, with an alarming humanitarian situation.
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.
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