WINDHOEK - The Director of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources at the SADC Secretariat Domingos Gove said the food security situation in the region is good, but situations of food insecurity may occur in more vulnerable communities such as DRC, Lesotho, south Malawi, south and central Mozambique, Namibia, south Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Gove said that crop prices in the region are still low but may increase with shortage of food production.
He was addressing the media at Safari Court Hotel on Saturday afternoon.
“Rainfall situation during 2017/18 was influenced by El Nino, which provoked normal rainfall conditions but there were dry spells in January, mainly in Botswana, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe,” he said.
“This affected the crop production which reduced compared to the previous crop season (2016/17). For example maize production in South Africa decreased by 23 percent and 34 percent in Zambia,” he explained.
He said the region is closely monitoring transboundary crop pests and diseases, such as the fall armyworm which from last year to today has spread to 42 African countries, including 13 SADC countries, excluding Lesotho and Mauritius.
There are also other crop diseases causing havoc in the region, such as the banana bunchy top virus and lethal maize necrosis.
He said that with regards to animal diseases, the secretariat has been monitoring Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), rabies and others.
“The secretariat has also implemented the Harmonised Seed Regulatory System which is released in the region’s 25 new crop varieties, including maize, wheat and sorghum,” he told reporters.
Gove said the establishment of the SADC Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Coordinating Centre is to combat illegal unreported and undeclared fishing, which robs the region around US$500 million annually.
Also implemented was a policy on the adoption of the SADC Regional Aquaculture Strategy and Action Plan (2016- 2026), to increase food security through aquaculture production.
“Development Trans-Frontier Conservation Areas (TFCA) [monitoring and evaluation] framework to track progress of member states in the implementation of TFCA SADC programme; Implementation of Forest regional program, including forest information management system, fire management and participatory forest management,” he outlined the plans.
The framework is to track progress of member states in the implementation of TFCA SADC programme.