PRISE-PAD Fall Armyworm SMS Alert Pilot Results
Published: September, 2020
This study evaluates the effects of a pilot mobile SMS messages campaign on farmers’ knowledge and management of fall armyworm (FAW), an invasive pest of maize that is threatening food security in Kenya. The farmers’ participation in the SMS message system was high, with almost 60% of farmers consistently participating through the season. The majority of farmers understood most of the messages, which they found helpful, especially on how to control and prevent FAW. We find that participation in the mobile SMS messages campaigns increased farmers’ knowledge about FAW, and farmers reported reduced FAW infestation and increased maize production, as a result of implementing the recommended actions. Male farmers were more likely to be aware of FAW and knowledgeable about the integrated management of FAW than women farmers. Recommendations are made to improve the nclarity of some messaging, expand the service and undertake further analysis to ensure women farmers are able to benefit equally from the PRISE alerts.
Pests can decimate crops and are estimated to cause around a 40% loss. These insects, mites and plant pathogens can impact on food security and impede supply chains and international trade. A Pest Risk Information SErvice (PRISE) aims to solve this problem by using data to help farmers manage pests in up to five countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Start: 01/12/16 -End: 31/03/22