FAO Quarterly Early Warning Bulletin for Food and Agriculture - No. 17 October-December 2015

FAO Quarterly Early Warning Bulletin for Food and Agriculture - No. 17 October-December 2015
Oct 2015

Highlights

Animal and aquatic diseases:

  • With the upcoming winter, the forecast for Avian Influenza is as follows:
    − In West Africa, the risk of further spread of Avian Influenza (H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) to Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger and Nigeria in poultry is persisting. To date no reported cases of human samples tested.
    − In Southeast Asia and China, a high risk of occurrence of Avian Influenza (H5N1, H7N9, H5N2, H5N3, H5N6, and H5N8) outbreaks is expected with potential spread within endemic countries and to free areas.
  • The risk of re-occurrence and spread of a vector borne disease - Rift Valley fever (RVF) - is amplified in Eastern Africa with El Niño conditions. Strong persistent El Niño conditions are associated with periods of widespread and prolonged heavy rainfall creating ideal environmental and ecological conditions for the emergence of RVF vectors.
  • The occurrence of Lumpy skin disease (LSD) in Greece and the Russian Federation highlights the potential for further spread to other countries in Central Asia and Europe.
  • No confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) were reported in the week to 4 October. This is the first time that a complete epidemiological week has elapsed with zero confirmed cases since March 2014. Liberia was declared Ebola-free by World Health Organization (WHO) on 3 September 2015.
  • A risk of spread of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome -coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is associated to the recent Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia and the re-emergence of the disease in Jordan after a couple of years without cases.

Plant pests and diseases:

  • There is a low to moderate risk of Desert Locusts forming small groups in the northern Sahel of Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Sudan. As vegetation dries out, the locusts will shift to northwest Mauritania, southern Algeria and the Red Sea coast of Sudan.

El Niño phenomenon:

  • Strong El Niño predicted to persist into early 2016. El Niño-related dry weather patterns have already adversely impacted crop production in parts of Asia, Central America and the Caribbean. The expected prevalence and continuation of El Niño-associated weather patterns into 2016 have raised alarms in many parts of the world where the cropping season has started or is about to start, including parts of Asia and Southern Africa. In East Africa, El Niño events are likely to be associated with above-normal rainfall and flooding. Floods are expected with potential disruption of crop production and infrastructure as well as animal disease outbreaks (Rift Valley Fever).