Addis Ababa Augest 04/2017 African Union has called on all stakeholders to join hands in the fight against the devastating pest fall armyworm (FAW) in the continent.
In a press briefing held here today, AU Deputy Chairperson Thomas Kwesi said the leadership of AU Commission is determined to do everything possible to control the FAW.
He said “the commission is determined to work with regional economic communities to support our member states to understand the nature of the fall armyworm and how to manage and control it.”
To do this, the AU Commission is calling upon everyone to join hands with us in the fight against this pest, Kwesi added.
According to him, “for the commission to be effective in fulfilling its mandates, we need to receive regular and accurate information from technical organizations on the spread of the pest and its impact on crop yields and measures being taken to control it.”
It is only with such information that the Commission can inform and mobilize the political leadership that is needed to fight this pest, Kwesi underlined.
“I call upon our development partners to provide financial support in generating knowledge on the fall armyworm and in our efforts to mobilize our leaders to fight the pest”, the Deputy Commissioner noted.
Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Josefa Sacko said on her part that FAW is potentially a major trait of food security in Africa.
The insect is already threatening nearly 9 percent of the total combined agricultural GDP of the affected countries, Sacko revealed.
AU Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture has been actively working to understand the nature and the spread of FAW in the continent, it was indicated.
FAW was first detected in central and western Africa in early 2016 (Benin, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe and Togo); and in late 2016, in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda Zambia and Zimbabwe.