Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Assessment of potential biopesticide options for managing fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) in Africa.

Abstract

The fall armyworm (FAW, Spodoptera frugiperda) originates from the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the Americas. Recently it was reported for the first time in Africa and has since spread rapidly across more than 30 countries in the continent. Chemical pesticides are being promoted and used for FAW management, but where application practices and/or the active ingredients are unsafe there is a need to make effective, low-risk products available. Given that biopesticides such as microbials and microbial extracts, macrobials and semiochemicals are generally considered to be lower risk options for pest management, they are a promising avenue for exploration. When used in conjunction with good crop management, they can help to keep pest levels under control, reducing the need to apply other pesticides. This study provides a basis for designing interventions to make biopesticides more widely available for FAW control in Africa. It summarizes assessments of the registered pesticides and biopesticides for 30 countries, 11 in FAW's native range and 19 in Africa. The report identifies biopesticide active ingredients (AI) which are registered for use against FAW and provides an assessment of how appropriate these will be for use by smallholder farmers in Africa. For each biopesticide AI identified, detailed profiles were developed which covered the efficacy of the AI against FAW; the human health and environmental hazards associated with the AI; the agronomic sustainability of the AI; and whether or not the AI is practical for smallholder farmers to use. Using these data, a list of priority biopesticides for which follow-up action is recommended was compiled. Fifty biopesticide AI were identified, which have been registered in one or more of the 30 countries for FAW management. Twenty-three of these are recommended for follow-up, for example field trials or bioassays.