Have actions taken to control fall armyworm reduced the economic cost experienced in Ghana?
Published: October, 2019
The rapid spread of the invasive crop pest, the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), across Africa in recent years has attracted considerable interest, especially the effect on maize farmers. The purpose of this study is to understand and assess the economic costs of the fall armyworm invasion in Ghana under different control scenarios. Three different scenarios are modelled: one with no farmer applied control measures, one with limited control measures and one with proactive control measures that were used in Ghana in 2017. Maximum, minimum and mid-range estimates of losses are presented for the second and third scenarios. The study is based on data available from CABI surveys, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Ghana and FAOSTAT.
Worldwide, over 500 million smallholder farmers provide food for two-thirds of the earth’s growing population. Achieving a zero hunger world by 2030 depends on increasing the productivity of these smallholder farmers – but their crops face a significant threat. Yearly, an estimated 40% of crops grown worldwide are lost to pests. If we could reduce crop losses by just 1%, we could potentially feed millions more people. The lack of access to timely, appropriate and actionable extension advice makes it a fundamental challenge for farmers to get the right information at the right time to reduce crop losses.
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.