Ministry of agriculture pest specialist officer Ronald Njyapau has urged farmers to seek information on how to correctly identify the fall armyworms which destroyed crops during the two previous farming seasons.
Government and agricultural experts have cautioned Farmer to expect the resurfacing of the fall armyworms during the 2018/19 farming season.
Zambia lost a total of 222,586 hectares where the Faw bred and feasted on small corn and affected a total of 279,843 farmers.
—- background information——
In 2016, an invasive crop pest called the fall armyworm (FAW) was first confirmed in Africa. Native to the Americas, FAW can feed on 80 different crop species including maize, a staple food consumed by over 300 million African smallholder farm families. The crop pest has since been found in over 30 African countries, posing a significant threat to food security, income and livelihoods.
If proper control measures are not implemented, the pest could cause extensive maize yield losses, estimated between $3.6 and $6.2 billion per year across the 12 major African maize producing countries, according to an evidence note published by the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) in September 2017.
To combat the spread of fall armyworm across the African continent, international experts gathered together to produce a new comprehensive integrated pest management (IPM) guide to help scientists, plant protection organizations, extension agencies, research institutions, and governments working with farmers tackle the voracious FAW.
Fall Armyworm in Africa: A Guide for Integrated Pest Management was jointly produced under the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (CRP MAIZE).
Editors: B.M. Prasanna, Joseph E. Huesing, Regina Eddy, Virginia M. Peschke
Produced jointly by USAID, CIMMYT, CGIAR Research Program on Maize, in collaboration with international and national research and development partners.