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.
The SADC Region Food and Nutrition Security Strategy 2015-2025 emphasises that the regional food and nutrition security situation remains unstable and unpredictable.
Almost 16% of SADC’s rural population have been consistently designated food insecure over the past 5 years. This despite improved production in some Member States.
Malnutrition is the result of a complex set of interacting factors that are multi-sectoral, related to health, sanitation and care practices as well as consumption and access to food. Further influencing factors include education, gender, social equity, and the local social and environmental context. These causes of malnutrition are classified as immediate, underlying, and basic, whereby factors at one level influence other levels.
Rainfall patterns were unusual, with dry spells and wet spells punctuating the season. The estimated total area planted decreased to 185,700 ha from 284,500 ha the previous season. In turn, cereal production is estimated at 87,672 tons, down from 128,075 tons. Around 32,800 permanently destitute people are being assisted through social protection programmes in 2017/18 nationally, compared to 32,200 in 2016/17.
• The 2017-18 rainfall season was characterized by a late start, an extended mid-season dry spell (December-January) and heavy rains from February into April. The dry spell caused moisture stress and wilting of the early planted crops in many areas in Botswana, south-western Madagascar, southern Malawi, southern and some central parts of Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Many countries across the African continent face recurrent complex emergencies, frequent food insecurity, cyclical drought, and sudden-onset disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, and storms. In FY 2017, USAID/OFDA continued to respond to urgent needs resulting from disasters and support DRR programs that improve emergency preparedness and response capacity at local, national, and regional levels.
09 July 2018, Gaborone, Botswana - The number of food insecure people in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region in the 2018/19 consumption year is 29 million people, representing 14 percent of the population, according to the “State of Food and Nutrition Insecurity and Vulnerability in Southern Africa” report. The report was compiled from results of the 2018 vulnerability assessments and analysis of 11 SADC Member States. The number of the food insecure population is 13 percent higher, compared to last year, 2017/8.
WaPOR: database dissemination portal and APIs
The FAO portal to monitor Water Productivity through Open access of Remotely sensed derived data (WaPOR) monitors and reports on agriculture water productivity over Africa and the Near East.
It provides open access to the water productivity database and its thousands of underlying map layers, it allows for direct data queries, time series analyses, area statistics and data download of key variables associated to water and land productivity assessments.
- Most of Southern Africa experienced erratic rainfall, delayed start of rainy season and extended midseason dry-spell from December to February which have wilted early planted crops in the region.
- In March 2018, significant rainfall was received in central and eastern parts of South Africa.
Cereal production during the upcoming harvest season in Southern Africa is expected to be below average, despite the heavy late rains, which benefitted the late planted crops. This is due to a late start of the rainy season, minimal to no rains during the critical planting season (December -January), high temperatures and the prevalence of Fall Armyworm (FAW).
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Cereal production forecast to decline to well belowaverage levels in 2018, primarily on account of poor seasonal rains
Food prices mostly unchanged on yearly basis as of early 2018
Food security conditions expected to worsen in 2018 due to expected decrease in agricultural production
Poor weather expected to result in sharp cut to 2018 cereal production
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.
Maize is the main staple and cereal crop. Maize crop failures in the region have historically had significant impact on food security.
Erratic rainfall, high temperatures and persistent Fall Armyworm infestation lower cereal crop production prospects for 2018 in Southern Africa.
- 75% shortfall in rain in large parts of the region during January
- 14,732 cholera cases and 218 deaths reported since 2017
- 234,200 people affected by floods and cyclones in 2018
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.