Economic impacts of invasive alien species on African smallholder livelihoods
Published: September, 2017
In developing countries, invasive alien species (IAS) threaten smallholder farmer production and the food security of subsistence growers, but economic impacts are widely under-reported. Here, the economic impacts of IAS that threaten smallholder mixed maize farming in eastern Africa are presented. Maize is important for most smallholders and is commonly grown with horticultural crops and other cereals which collectively provide nutrition and income. These crops are also important for national economies. Estimates of the economic impacts of five major IAS: Chilo partellus, Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease, Parthenium hysterophorus, Liriomyza spp. and Tuta absoluta on mixed maize smallholders in six countries gave current combined annual losses of US$0.9–1.1 billion; and future annual losses (next 5–10 years) of US$1.0–1.2 billion.
The global cost of invasive species is estimated at US$1.4 trillion per year – close to 5% of global gross domestic product. Invasives disproportionately affect vulnerable communities in poor rural areas, especially in developing countries which depend on natural resources, healthy ecosystems, trade and tourism for their livelihoods.
Start: 02/01/18 -End: 31/03/21