The Fall Armyworm, a very invasive insect pest, has spread rapidly since its arrival in African 2 years ago and now covers almost all of Sub-Saharan Africa. Feeding most destructively on maize, but also on sorghum and other crops, FAW is considered a major threat to production if not well managed.

FAO, with member countries and research organizations, is convening an international technical meeting in Addis Ababa, October 29-31, to determine what measures, and integrated pest management approaches, can be effective against this pest for smallholder farmers in Africa. Around 98% of African maize farmers (96% by crop area) are smallholder family farmers.

Since its arrival, and in dealing with previous similar caterpillar pests, smallholder farmers will have developed ways of managing this pest and reducing its damage under their own conditions. To ensure that all possible management measures are considered, and all perspectives included, the organizers are seeking farmers, local practioners, and civil society organizations who have found local or indigenous innovations and technologies to be effective in different crop systems.  These can usefully inform the meeting and themselves be further researched for maximum effectiveness.

If you have such local pest management innovations, that you wish to share and would like to bring to the awareness of the technical meeting, please contact Allan.Hruska[at]fao[dot]org

Photo Caption: 08 March 2018, Goromonzi, Zimbabwe - Maize crop is attacked by the fall armyworm at Orchi Farm.

Photo credit: ©FAO/Edward Ogolla