Farmer's Willingness to Pay for Drought-Tolerant Maize

Maize plays a vital role in food security in Africa south of the Sahara, providing an estimated 40-50 percent of the calories consumed by poor populations.[1] However, the crop is also very susceptible to climate-driven shocks, particularly variable rainfall and drought. While drought-tolerant maize varieties have become more widely available in recent years, the adoption of these new varieties depends on farmers’ perceptions of the crop’s benefits – and their willingness to pay for those benefits.

Famine in Africa: Urgent Action Needed

Despite months of warning, famine continues to threaten large numbers of people in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen.

Horn of Africa Facing Drought, Famine

The Horn of Africa received only one-quarter of the expected rainfall from October through December, leading to widespread drought and potential famine conditions. An emergency alert from FEWS Net issued on January 25 states that emergency food assistance needs in the region are “unprecedented”, particularly in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen, where the threat of famine is particularly strong.

Drought Raises Food Insecurity in East Africa

Widespread drought is driving high food insecurity in several parts of East Africa, including central and southern Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, northern and eastern Kenya, northern and eastern Tanzania, and southeastern Uganda. According to a special report released by FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS), these areas received less than one-quarter of their normal rainfall from October to December.

FEWS Net Outlook for Southern Africa

A recent Food Security Outlook Report released by FEWS Net forecasts that for November 2016 – May 2017, food security conditions throughout southern Africa will worsen for many poor households. Deteriorating food security will be driven partly by normal seasonal trends, as this period is the peak of the lean season in the region, and partly by the 2015-2016 El Niño cycle, which delayed or reduced harvests in many countries.

Malawi's Food-Insecure Population Expected to Grow

For the second year in a row, Malawi is facing a national maize deficit. In the 2016-2017 marketing year, the maize supply gap is expected to be 953,000 MT, according to a new Food Security Outlook from FEWS Net.

Latest GIEWS Country Briefs Track Food Security in Kenya, Senegal

FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) has released two updated country briefs for Africa south of the Sahara. The country brief series provides information regarding countries’ current agricultural season and harvest prospects for main staple food crops, as well as estimates and forecasts of cereal production, cereal imports, and food prices and policy developments.

El Niño to Have Long-term Development Impacts, Report Says

The 2015-2016 El Niño cycle has had devastating effects in many developing regions, including across much of Africa south of the Sahara. According to a new report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, El Niño has affected 60 million people worldwide, and 23 countries have issued response plans costing upwards of US$ 5 billion in national funding and international aid.

Zimbabwe Facing Continuing Drought

Zimbabwe has been in the throes of an El Niño-induced drought for more than a year, placing as many as 4.5 million people in food insecurity throughout the country, according to a recent Reuters article. The prolonged poor weather conditions mean that the upcoming dry season – September and October – is likely to be worse than normal, placing even more pressure on already strained local water supplies.

Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Southern Africa Continue to See Reduced Food Supplies and Access

As the lean season nears an end in Southern Africa, maize supplies and prices remain mixed across the region, according to the latest FEWS Net alert. In Zambia and Tanzania, maize supplies have improved slightly due to ongoing harvests; in contrast, southern Mozambique and Zimbabwe are seeing below average maize supplies due to poor 2015-2016 production levels.


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