Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) in Maize: current status and collaborative efforts for its management in Nepal.
Fall Armyworm (FAW) Spodoptera frogiperda (LE. Smith), is a voracious pest of agricultural crops with native origins in the Americas. The pest accidentally landed in Africa in 2016, successfully wreaking havoc in over 40 countries. It has now reached Asia and was reported in India in May 2018, ravaging especially maize. PAW is likely to create a high risk of food insecurity especially in the hills of Nepal where maize has been established as the principal food crop. A joint effort has been made by many stakeholders and organizations in Nepal to design an action plan for combating the pest, involving even small-scale farmers to generate safer, accessible, effective, and sustainable solutions against FAW. A national level task force has been formed with chairmanship of the Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development and involving representatives from Government of Nepal (GoN), International Organizations, Developmental Projects, Research Centers, and freelance experts under which a technical committee has been formed for FAW 1PM and surveillance protocol development and quarantine alerts. Detection surveys and regular monitoring of YAW, orientations on FAW identification tips, distribution of FAW identification kits, JEC materials development, and awareness are considered joint efforts of all the stakeholders involved. In addition, a national level stakeholders' workshop on the preparedness and rapid response of the threats of FAW in Nepal and an international workshop on Fall Armyworm Preparedness and Management involving different national and international experts and stakeholders has been conducted to produce synergy in effectively fighting against the pest. The paper carries the major objective of reviewing the status of fall armyworm, in the country and control measures on maize crop in Nepal.