Fall armyworm information sharing session
On 18 September, icipe held an information sharing on the management of the fall armyworm in Africa for ambassadors and representatives of African governments and beyond, national research systems, international organisations and members of the press.
Participants noted that in just three years — since its presence was first reported in Africa in 2016 — the fall armyworm has spread at an alarming rate across the continent, with significant impact. Estimates from 12 African countries indicate that the pest is causing annual maize losses of between 8 – 21 million tonnes, leading to monetary losses of up to US$ 6.1 billion, while affecting over 300 million people in Africa, who, directly or indirectly, depend on the crop for food and well-being. The pest’s impact is likely to be even higher when its damage on other crops is quantified. The meeting recognised efforts by icipe, in partnership with various stakeholders, to enhance capacity for early warning, rapid response and regional preparedness of the fall armyworm. The Centre’s initiatives also include damage assessment and development and implementation of integrated pest management strategies. Recommendations from the discussions included the need for:
- Transboundary collaboration in the management of invasives, including the fall armyworm;
- Sustainable, integrated pest management of the fall armyworm, targeting all stages of the pest;
- Communities of practice towards developing such solutions and broader knowledge on the pest;
- Partnerships to roll out strategies being developed through various initiatives, including those by icipe.