Program Successfully Manages Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda)

Research by TPRI, Tanzania has shown that a biorational programme developed by Russell IPM has controlled Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) by 95% reducing damage in winter maize while traditional pesticides managed to limit the damage to 25-30% only. This will provide a glimmer of hope for African farmers in the fight for their livelihood against this devastating and difficult to control pest.

The research was conducted in three regions in Tanzania in winter maize crops (June-September). Biotrine, Antario and Recharge are the key elements of the programme which provides effective, as well as sustainable results. In addition, the produce following the programme is virtually pesticide residue- free maize. The programme is the result of years of development in collaboration with a number of Agricultural Research organisations. Recent reports from Cameroon came out in line with the Tanzania results confirming that the same sustainable and biorational solution can successfully outperform traditional pesticides.

Russell IPM are very encouraged by the results showing for the first time that a biorational program can outperform traditional pesticide use. This provides a sustainable solution to a complex problem threatening food security across Africa.

Fall Armyworm which belongs to the Noctuidae family of moths, is an alien, invasive moth insect pest native to the tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas. In 2016 it was detected in African countries: Nigeria, Sao Tomé, Benin and Togo. Its presence has also been confirmed in Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Kenya, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are preliminary reports of the pest’s sightings in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

Due to the complex nature of fall army worm infestations, fast-spreading presence, high reproductive capacity and wide host range, it is most likely that the pest will soon be able to colonise most African countries and pose a greater still impact to these countries’ food security and livelihoods.

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