Implementation of fall armyworm management plan in Ghana: outcomes and lessons
Published: July, 2020
The invasive pest, fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda J.E. Smith), was confirmed as being present in Ghana in 2016. By 2017, research studies estimated that maize yield losses in Africa due to fall armyworm would range between 8.3 and 20.6 million tonnes per year if management measures were not put in place. In Ghana alone, the value of the 2018 annual maize crop lost due to fall armyworm was estimated at US$177 million. In response to the fall armyworm outbreak, CABI – through its programme on Action on Invasives – launched fall armyworm-specific activities in Ghana in 2017. The programme supported the development of a national fall armyworm management plan; a collaborative effort with the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), and other stakeholders. The fall armyworm management plan focused on four priority areas: co-ordination and collaboration; awareness-raising; monitoring and surveillance; and control, management, and research. Most importantly, the national management plan aimed at ensuring coordinated efforts between public, private, and civil society organisations in the management of fall armyworm. A national multi-stakeholder task force was created, and charged with advising the Minister of Food and Agriculture and coordinating the response to fall armyworm. A review of the implementation of the national fall armyworm management plan was undertaken in late 2018 and early 2019 through a stakeholder workshop and key informant interviews. The review showed evidence of stakeholder collaboration at various levels, leading to increased public awareness of fall armyworm and management practices, research into low-risk management options, and contribution to policy and practice on how threats from invasive species could be managed more effectively in future.
In Africa, the fall armyworm is a pest causing significant destruction and devastation to crops. It is estimated to cause 8-20 million tonnes of maize losses each year and due to little knowledge of the pest and ways of managing it, the impacts can be catastrophic. With partners, CABI developed an emergency response strategy that empowered local communities of six target countries to effectively manage and monitor outbreaks in their respective localities, helping to prevent further spread.
Start: 31/08/17 -End: 30/06/19