Posts Tagged ‘armyworm’

Destructive Pest Alert: Fall Armyworm (FAW) is paving its way to Nepal

by AbduRahman Beshir, Hari Kumar Shrestha and Bandana Pradhan

The invasive agricultural pest Fall Armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, is considered a threat to global food security. Originally from the Americas, the pest was identified in Africa in 2016 and was first detected in India in 2018, where it is causing significant loss to farmers in Karnataka and other Southern Indian states. The presence of FAW has recently been confirmed in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and unofficially in Thailand. There is a high probability that the migratory pest will reach Nepal soon. The deadly pest has a voracious appetite for maize and other crops and its impact would be huge for the Nepalese farmers and economy. There are climatic conditions in Nepal are suitable for the establishment of FAW populations, which can potentially cause up to 100 percent crop loss in maize if not managed properly. Therefore, urgent attention and preparedness on the threat of FAW is crucial.

Participants at the meeting organized to raise awareness of FAW. Photo: CIMMYT

Aiming to raise awareness and sensitize stakeholders on this subject, a workshop was organized where scientists, agriculture experts, entomologists, government, private sector, academia, USAID and other relevant stakeholders discussed potential solutions to combat threats of FAW if and when the pest is reported in Nepal. The event was jointly organized by the Feed the Future Nepal Seed and Fertilizer project, the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab and the Plant Protection Society of Nepal on November 30, 2018 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Tackling the deadly fall armyworm infestation devastating maize in southern Africa

By Brenda Wawa

Maize plants damaged by fall armyworm in a farmer’s field in southern Malawi in Balaka District. CIMMYT/Christian Thierfelder.

Smallholder farmers in eastern and southern Africa are facing a new threat as a plague of intrepid fall armyworms creeps across the region, so far damaging an estimated 287,000 hectares of maize.

Since mid-2016, scientists with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and national agricultural research partners have been monitoring reports of sightings of the fall armyworm in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Surveys conducted in 2016 in farmers’ fields confirmed the pest is present in Kenya. The threat of the pest spreading into other eastern Africa countries is a significant risk since the region has similar planting seasons.