Fall armyworm: Impacts and Implications for Africa
Published: October, 2018
This publication is a summary of an Evidence Note (Fall Armyworm: Impacts and Implcations for Africa) published by CABI in October 2018, as part of its Action on Invasives programme. The full report is available here.
- 44 countries in sub-Saharan Africa are now affected by fall armyworm (FAW). Small areas on the north coast of Africa are environmentally suitable but not yet affected. FAW was recently confirmed in India and can be expected to spread to other suitable areas in Asia, including some major maize production zones.
- Farmers in Ghana reported 26% maize loss due to FAW in the most recent season, and in Zambia, 35%. This translates to a national annual loss of around US$177m in Ghana and US$159m in Zambia. This is lower than 2017 estimates but farmers may still be over-estimating yield loss.
- Pesticides are the most commonly used control method although in Zambia over a third of farmers did not attempt control. In Ghana over a third of farmers used biological pesticides, encouraged by government recommendations and subsidies.
- Research and development on FAW monitoring and control is expanding the set of integrated pest management (IPM) tools available. Mortality due to local natural enemies of FAW is reaching high levels in some cases. Managing the pest in maize is the overriding priority as there are few confirmed reports of serious damage in other crops.
- Many organisations are providing advice to farmers using a variety of traditional and novel communication methods with varying objectives. Recommended control methods should be efficacious, safe, sustainable, practical, available and cost-effective. The extent to which these criteria are met varies with the control method and the context in which it is used.
The global cost of invasive species is estimated at US$1.4 trillion per year – close to 5% of global gross domestic product. Invasives disproportionately affect vulnerable communities in poor rural areas, especially in developing countries which depend on natural resources, healthy ecosystems, trade and tourism for their livelihoods.
Start: 02/01/18 -End: 31/03/21