Several countries in the Southern African region have suffered outbreaks of the African Armyworm, a deleterious pest of crops and rangeland herbage. The late onset of rains resulting in prolonged dry weather well into the normal rainy season followed by wet conditions and conducive wind drifts, created a favourable environment for the outbreak and spread of the pest in the region.
- November dryness caused a delay in the start of season in many areas across the region.
- Poor rains during the 2011/12 agriculture season and low rainfall in November have resulted in persistent below-average vegetation conditions and reduced water availability.
- Good rains in early December could help reduce moisture deficits.
- Zambia has reported army worm infestations in several provinces and efforts to control the worms and replant crops are underway.
21 Jul 2009 - A disease affecting fish stocks threatens the livelihoods of 25 million people in the Zambezi River basin. The most affected country is Zambia, where over 2,000 villages and some 7,000 people are now at risk of hunger.
In the current global crisis numerous international organisations are calling on politicians of the west to respect their pledges made in development aid for Africa. In a recently published book, a Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo denounces not only the inefficiency of development aid, but insists on its negative impacts. The title of the book - "Dead Aid: why aid is not working and how there is a better way for Africa" - clearly indicates the results of research conducted by Moyo on figures of the past 50 years.
In Zambia and Angola the growing season has been dry up to now and reductions in yield up to -8% are expected. Above average maize yields are seen in Botswana (+4%), South Africa (+4%) and Swaziland (+3%) and 2% below average national yields in Lesotho, Mozambique and Namibia. Moderate dry conditions in Malawi and Zimbabwe could result in yield decreases that are about 6% lower than the 5 years average.