22.02.2018

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African countries are faced with Fall Armyworm (FAW) infestation of millions of hectares of maize, most in the hands of smallholder farmers. A new FAO-Guide aims to help farmers in fighting FAW in an integrated, ecological and sustainable way.

A comprehensive guide on the integrated pest management of the Fall Armyworm (FAW) on maize was launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in February 2018.

The guide Integrated management of the Fall Armyworm on maize - A guide for Farmer Field Schools in Africa was developed with a host of partners: the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Lancaster University, the 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).

It aims to 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. 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.

Based on a learning-by-doing approach and designed for Farmers Field Schools, the guide is packed with hands-on advice.

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