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Early Warning Bulletin

The Quarterly Early Warning Bulletin integrates information on threats to the food chain and food security for the three months ahead.

It is the result of a collaboration between the Emergency Prevention System (EMPRES) for transboundary animal and plant pests and diseases and food safety threats, the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) and the Food Chain Crisis Management Framework (FCC). Data is provided by GIEWS and EMPRES.

January 2018 - March 2018

Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda). FAW has continued its spread in Africa since the last forecast period of October- December 2017. New countries have confirmed its presence since October 2017, namely, Liberia, Madagascar, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan. Nearly all Sub Saharan Africa is infected now with the pest except Djibouti, Eritrea, Lesotho, and Mauritius. Key concerns about FAW include its impact on yields, food security, and livelihoods of smallholder farming households, as well as its potential to develop resistance to some pesticide products.

At the sub-regional level, during this forecast period (January to March 2018):
Central and Southern Africa: The main cropping season is ongoing during the forecast period; therefore, the pest is likely to continue its spread across new areas. Damage could be considerable on maize unless appropriate pest management measures are carried out.
Northern Africa: FAW being present in Sudan, puts North Africa at risk. However, since it is the off-season for maize in Sudan, FAW’s spread within the country will be limited and its spread will also be limited to Egypt and Libya. Nevertheless, conditions being favourable in southern parts of Egypt and Libya, at the borders with Sudan, could favour FAW introduction into these two countries. Monitoring and surveillance systems in Egypt and Libya are necessary.
Western and Eastern Africa: FAW development and spread will slow as it will be the dry season during the forecast period thus reducing the host crop on which the pest would feed. Even if some maize remains along the riverbanks, it will not be enough to feed large FAW populations. The pest will feed on alternate hosts but its further spread is unlikely. Preliminary field observations show that this pest is actively feeding on vegetables grown during the dry season. 

Avian influenza. Due to seasonal patterns of Avian influenza and particularly winter in the northern hemisphere, an increase of virus circulation in poultry and humans is expected for the period January-March 2018. During winter migration of wild birds from Europe to Africa and Asia, introduction of Avian influenza might occur and new outbreaks might be reported in the next months in some African and Asian countries located in a migratory corridor.