Date of publication: 



“Climate change continues to challenge food and nutrition in Southern Africa”

CARE International and FANRPAN welcome the 2018/19 Food and Nutrition Outlook Report released by Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) on 6 July 2018. The report comes at an opportune time to support governments, private sector and non-state actors to plan and address the food and nutrition gaps in the SADC region.

According to the report, 29.4 million people in the region are food and nutrition insecure, representing over 14% of the total regional population. In Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the number of people who are food and nutrition insecure has increased, despite an increase in food production. Compared to the previous year, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi and Zimbabwe recorded the largest increases in food and nutrition insecure populations.

Michelle D Carter, CARE’s Southern Africa Regional Director commented, “We applaud Governments’ efforts in the implementation of various policies to address food and nutrition security. However, this report reveals that these efforts are not enough considering the unprecedented impacts of climate change, such as floods, droughts, widespread pests and epidemics, gender inequalities in the agriculture sector and low investment in extension services.”

The Fall Army Worm (FAW) epidemic since 2016/17 has been noted as having contributed significantly to the underproduction of maize, which is the main staple in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Fall Army Worm is predicted to continue affecting the region, and governments and stakeholders should consider long term investments in containing the problem.

Mr. Munhamo Chisvo, FANRPAN’s Chief Executive Officer said, “The report projects that 2018/19 will be an El Nino season, signaling high probability of low agriculture production with serious negative impact on most economies in the region which are agro-based. Governments should consider investing in winter cropping to take advantage of residual moisture. Additionally, Governments should consider investment in post-harvest management to support optimal utilization of agriculture production in the region.”

The report echoes the Malabo Biennial Review Report released by the African Union Commission (AUC) which found that all governments in Africa, except Mauritius, were off-track in the management of the impacts of climate change.

Mr. Vitumbiko Chinoko, CARE’s, Southern Africa, Advocacy and Partnerships Coordinator said, “It is evident that climate change has been the main cause of low food production in Southern Africa. All climate scenarios indicate the region will continue to receive less rainfall. Rainfall based agriculture systems will continue to keep the region food and nutrition insecure. Governments should scale-up irrigation and ensure that such initiatives allow adequate participation of small-scale famers who comprise 60% of the food producers in the region.”

 CARE International:Is a global confederation of 14 members and 4 candidate/affiliate organisations working together to end poverty. In 2017, CARE worked in 93 countries around the world, implementing 950 poverty-fighting development and humanitarian aid projects. We reached more than 62 million people directly and 216 million people indirectly.

 FANRPAN: FANRPAN is a pan-African multi-stakeholder and multi-tiered policy research and advocacy network that provides independent evidence to inform policy processes at national and regional levels. The FANRPAN regional secretariat is based in Pretoria, South Africa working with more than 670 member organisations organised into national nodes in seventeen African countries.