Regional maize supplies remain high and sufficient to satisfy needs for the remainder of the 2017/18 marketing year (Figure 1 and Annex 1). Estimated maize surpluses are significantly above average in South Africa (Figure 2). In Zimbabwe, a chronically grain deficit country, the 2017/18 marketing year deficit is substantially lower than average.
Early action crucial to avert crisis
09 February 2018, Johannesburg/Harare - Prolonged dry spells, erratic rainfall, high temperatures and the presence of the voracious fall armyworm have significantly dampened Southern Africa’s current agricultural season’s cereal production prospects. Early action in the form of consolidating information through assessments and anticipatory measures that reduce the impact of threats are crucial for an effective response.
Erratic rainfall, high temperatures and persistent Fall Armyworm infestation lower cereal crop production prospects for 2018 in southern Africa.
In the absence of consistent rains for the remainder of the season, dry conditions experienced in December to January will further diminish water supplies for domestic, agricultural and commercial use.
These conditions are likely to have far reaching consequences on access to adequate food and nutrition and ability of farmers to produce in the 2018/19 consumption year.
Windhoek-Southern Africa is still battling to recover from the 2015/16/ El Niño-induced drought, which by last year had affected about 41 million people across the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).
Windhoek-As livestock and crop farmers across Namibia fear another drought, the prospects for rain this week has improved, while the continuation of seasonal rainfall during February will be critical to crop development and production.
According to the UN’s Famine Early Warning Systems Network Report, a weakening of the suppressed convective weather pattern, and a return towards a more seasonably rainfall distribution throughout much of Southern Africa in early February could translate into widespread moderate to locally heavy precipitation over several anomalous dry regions.
Dry conditions intensified in the southern half of the region, threatening production prospects in several areas. Abnormally high temperatures accompanied these dry conditions. Short term rainfall forecasts suggest little respite in the near-term.
Good rains were received in the northern half of the region, promoting good crop conditions.
A cyclone made landfall in Madagascar, causing fatalities, displacement of populations, damage to infrastructure and flooding of thousands of hectares planted to rice.
Cyclical drought, food insecurity, cyclones, floods, disease outbreaks, and complex emergencies present significant challenges to vulnerable populations throughout the Southern Africa region. Between FY 2008 and FY 2017, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a range of natural and man-made disasters.
- 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.
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- 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
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Southern Africa continues to recover from the 2015/2016 El Niño-induced drought, which by January 2017 had affected about 41 million people across the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)1. The substantial government- and SADC-led response, supported by $900 million from the international humanitarian community2, empowered farmers to take advantage of a good 2016/2017 rainfall season, delivering an April 2017 cereal harvest 3 per cent above the 5-year average.
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.
12 countries (Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Mozambique, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe) had finalised their annual vulnerability assessments by the time that the SADC Dissemination Forum was held. Malawi and Tanzania still had to complete their vulnerability assessments.
Heavy rains caused flooding in some areas, which was exacerbated by Cyclone Dineo in February 2017. This led to an increase in diseases such as diarrhea and malaria in some areas.
Higher rainfall compared to the previous season resulted in improved crop and livestock production, thereby significantly reducing households’ vulnerability to food insecurity.
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.
SYNOPSIS OF HURRICANE MARIA
Maria, the 13th named hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, became a category 5 hurricane near the Leeward Islands on Monday September 18 th, 2017. Hurricane Maria impacted Dominica at approximately 9:35pm on September 18 th as an extremely strong hurricane with wind speeds of 155 mph. Maria then impacted Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat and St. Kitts and Nevis on September 19th, 2017 and the Virgin Islands September 19 – 20, 2017.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) monitors trends in staple food supply and price trends in countries at risk of food insecurity. The Regional Supply and Market Outlook report provides a summary of regional staple food availability, surpluses and deficits during the current marketing year, projected price behavior, implications for local and regional commodity procurement, and essential market monitoring indicators.
Full title of the project:
FAO coordination of food and agriculture disaster risk reduction and management in Southern Africa
Recipient: Regional Africa
Donor: United States of America
Contribution: USD 500 000
Project code: OSRO/RAF/604/USA
To contribute to reducing the risk of food and nutrition insecurity by building strong and resilient livelihoods among poor, rural farming households.