FAO launches guide to tackle Fall Armyworm in Africa
Staff Writer |
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched a comprehensive guide on the integrated pest management of the Fall Armyworm (FAW) on maize.
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It will help smallholder farmers and frontline agricultural staff to manage FAW more effectively amidst fears that FAW may push more people into hunger. Central and Southern Africa are particularly on high alert, as the main maize growing season is currently underway in these regions.
Based on a learning-by-doing approach and designed for Farmers Field Schools, the guide is packed with hands-on advice. It provides support for a correct identification of this new foe for African farmers, and offers options to manage it in an integrated, ecological and sustainable way.
The guide was developed with a host of partners: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Lancaster University, Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA), Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
FAO also calls on those African countries likely to be affected soon, given the current distribution of FAW in Africa, to get prepared by: re-enforcing early warning systems at community level, raising awareness among farmers, and using available materials, such as the guide.
By early 2018, only 10 (mostly in the north of the continent) out of the 54 African states and territories have not reported infestations by the invasive pest. ■
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