Addis Ababa February 07/2018 Global experts produced a new comprehensive integrated pest management guide to fight the spread of Fall Armyworm (FAW), a critical food security threat in Africa, USAID said in a press release.
The guide is expected to help scientists, plant protection organizations, extension agencies, research institutions and governments working with farmers tackle the spread of the pest in Africa.
FAW poses a serious threat to food security and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farm households in Africa, due to its rapid spread and distinctive ability to inflict widespread damage across multiple crops.
FAW is an invasive crop pest that can feed on 80 different crop species including maize, a staple food consumed by more than 300 million farm families.
The pest first confirmed in Africa in 2016.
Experts warned that the emergence and rapid spread of the pest in Africa seriously threatens the food and income security of hundred millions of smallholder farmers.
If proper control measures are not implemented, it could cause extensive maize yield losses, estimated between 3.6 billion and 6.2 billion USD per year across 12 maize producing African countries.
Over the past couple of years, FAW has been spreading across many countries in Africa including Ethiopia.