Fall armyworm a threat to food security


Fall armyworm (FAW), an agricultural pest native to the Americas, was first detected on the African continent in 2016 and has since spread across Africa and Asia. FAW feeds on over 350 plant species but prefers maize and other staples, and hence potentially threatens the incomes and food security of millions of smallholder farmers. However, CIFOR-ICRAF’s research shows that FAW impact is not as serious as was initially anticipated.

Unfortunately, in their haste to respond to FAW some governments have promoted indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides, which aside from putting human health and the environment at risk, kills natural enemies which feed on FAW. Moreover, many chemicals formulations are not very effective against FAW, because the pest has acquired resistance. Using chemical pesticides indiscriminately undermines Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies which depend to a large degree on natural enemies and are linked to a healthy biodiversity. CIFOR-ICRAF support IPM and agroecological practices, through our Transformative Partnership Platform on Agroecology.


The solution to fall armyworm


This video focuses on three basic pillars of agroecological approaches: (i) management of healthy plants; (ii) enhancing the biodiversity of the agricultural environment; and, (iii) what responses to use when these fail.

This informational video is produced with the support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).

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How to manage fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) on smallholder farms

Publisher: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

Language: English

Year: 2023

Ecosystem(s): Agricultural Land

Location(s): Africa, Malawi, Zambia

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