Zimbabwe

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.

Excess Rainfall, Pests Pose Food Security Challenge in Southern Africa

A new Southern Africa regional alert from FEWS Net has forecast crop damage due to recent heavy rains and an outbreak of fall Armyworm.

December saw consistent severe rains in several parts of the region.  This heavy rainfall has leached nutrients from the soil and prevented households from working on their farms. FEWS Net reports that both of these factors may adversely affect crop yields.

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.

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.

GIEWS Country Briefs See Mixed Crop Production, High Food Insecurity

FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning Systems (GIEWS) has released several new country briefs for Africa south of the Sahara. This series of briefs provides an overview of the food security situation in prioritized countries, focusing on the current agricultural season, harvest prospects for staple food crops and livestock, estimates and forecasts of cereal production, and food price and food policy trends.

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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