African Press Association
Land preparation for farming

Addressing the armyworm crisis in West Africa

From EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is strengthening the technical capacity of West African states to manage the Fall Armyworm (FAW).
A weeklong training workshop is planned for Abuja with experts from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) set to attend.
David Karls Tsokar, National Communication Officer, FAO Nigeria, said the training aims at strengthening the capacity of national institutions involved in plant protection to provide support to farmers to effectively contain and manage the FAW.
“Participants are expected to be armed with standardized tools and methodologies to carry out different types of assessments, monitoring and management approaches to curb the impact of the pest,” Tsokar said.
The new invasive pest has invaded and rapidly spread across many countries of Africa.
The worm is damaging crops, especially maize across the continent and has the potential to cause significant yield losses.
The pest is native to the Americas, where farmers and researchers have been managing and studying it for many years.
Tsokar said the training workshop is in response to recommendations of an ECOWAS meeting on regional plant pest and disease surveillance (Accra,
June 2017) which emphasized on the need to strengthen members’ states capacity to manage FAW.
Last July, in Accra, FAO hosted South-South experts meetings and an integrated pest management curriculum development for FAW.
Key outcomes included comprehensive actions plans for capacity building for plant protection institutions, research and extension services of the Sub-Sahara region.
CAJ News