Skip to main content

Armyworm outbreak in Dodoma and Singida Regions under control

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Tanzania
  • February 2015
Armyworm outbreak in Dodoma and Singida Regions under control

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Adequate rains in Dodoma and Singida Regions from the end of January to mid-February helped contain the armyworm outbreak. There are currently no reports of armyworms spreading to new areas. As crop growth continues, further outbreaks are unlikely, as armyworms primarily feed on young plants. 

    • In Dodoma Region, incomes from casual labor are below-average because of a land conflict in Kiteto, where people migrate for casual labor. Purchasing power is low, with poor households unable to afford both food and essential non-food expenses. Some poor households will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through April/May when harvests are available. 

    • Nationwide, staple food prices remain below their five-year averages. In the Northeast, Vuli harvests were below-average. Prices will seasonably rise in April there, and households will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through May until green harvests start. The western bimodal and unimodal areas have stable prices, and in these areas, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) is expected through May/June.



    Central Rift Valley in Singida and Dodoma Regions
    • Low household food stocks due to a below-average Msimu harvest in June/July 2014
    • Chicken sales are low due to losses from Newcastle disease in September.
    • Low local casual labor demand 
    • Migratory laborers will likely move further than normal to find casual agricultural labor due to land conflict in Kiteto District, Manyara Region
    • Casual labor incomes will likely be below average due to low demand leading to lower rates
    Northeastern, bimodal lowlands in Tanga, Kilimanjaro, and Arusha Regions
    • A below-average harvest due to erratic and below-average October to December Vuli rainfall.
    • Low household food stocks due to destruction of stocks by late Masika rains in July/August, poor pest control, and higher crops sales than usual for nonfood items.
    • Pasture and water are less available than normal due to the below-average Vuli rains.
    • Lower incomes than usual for the season and low levels of household food stocks
    • Below-avearge milk availability and poor livestock health due to abnormal migration as a result of inadequate local pasture and water availability



    Seasonal progress: Msimu rainfall is ongoing in the unimodal areas. Crops are in the early vegetative stage, and despite low rainfall in early to mid-February, have adequate moisture for growth. The current forecast is for average to above-average rains through May. Weeding is ongoing. In the bimodal areas, Vuli harvesting and land preparation for the Masika season are ongoing. March to May Masika rains are expected to be near average to above-average in amount around Lake Victoria.

    Cereal supply is adequate across the country. The 2013/14 harvest in both bimodal and unimodal areas produced an estimated one million metric tonne (MT) surplus, and has kept prices low and markets well supplied. This is likely to continue through June when new crops become available in markets. Farmers are currently selling their remaining crops to finance planting and land preparation for the next season. Maize prices will remain below-average until September 2015. Currently, rice prices are increasing seasonally, as they will continue to do until the next harvest in June. Poor households will continue to have access to rice with prices mostly near their five-year averages. However, bean supply remains limited after the recent Vuli harvest. Poor households may have difficulties accessing this important protein source. The next bean crop starts in May in unimodal areas and in June in bimodal areas.

    Minimal (IPC Phase 1) is expected through the end of June in most areas. Households will continue to access food from their own food stocks or from the market through casual labor income, taking advantage of the currently low food prices. Minimal (IPC Phase 1) is expected for poor households through April in unimodal areas, and until May in bimodal areas. Later, households will likely have access to their own harvests through at least June.

    The northeastern bimodal lowlands in Tanga, Kilimanjaro, and Arusha Regions

    Below-average September to December Vuli rains over the past few years resulted in low crop production over the past years. This year, total crop production was less than half of average, and pasture did not regenerate until December, two months later than usual. Low rainfall retarded crop growth and delayed the improvement of livestock body conditions. These shocks caused food availability and incomes to be lower than usual, and diets to be less diverse.

    Late rains in July 2014 during the Masika harvest damaged crops that were still in the fields or drying, thus reducing the amount of maize available. Low maize prices limited incomes for households who sell maize, which prevented these household from buying pesticides to protect food stocks in storage. Many of these households sold all of their stock to cover essential non-food expenses. These poor households started purchasing food earlier than normal from the market at a much higher price than what their harvests were sold for. Casual, agricultural labor demand will increase with the start of land preparation in March, allowing households more access to food through market purchases. However, poor households will likely remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) until May, when green harvesting begins, thereafter, None (IPC Phase 1) through at least June.

    The Central Rift Valley in Dodoma and Singida Regions

    The rain at the end of January and first week of February helped control the armyworm outbreak in Dodoma. There are no reports of further outbreak nor of spread to new areas. Additionally, crop losses are reported to not so far be particularly large in the areas where the outbreak occurred. Labor migration typically occurs from Dodoma to Kiteto, but the government has banned maize production in Kiteto due to conflicts between maize farmers and herders. Laborers may need to travel as far as Tanga for casual, agricultural labor In March when local labor opportunities have ended.

    In 2014, erratic rains ended prematurely in March, leaving most crops not fully developed. As a result, poor households had much lower food stocks than usual. Most households finished their food stocks in August instead of November. In September, an outbreak of Newcastle Disease killed many chickens, flock size has not yet recovered resulting in lower incomes than normal. The government also began regulating firewood collection and charcoal making this past year. With below-average incomes and low food stocks, some households will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) even after green crops become available in April.  


    Figure 1


    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Maize price in Songea

    Source: Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Marketing

    Figure 3


    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top