Tuta absoluta is a major invasive pest that causes devastating crop damage worldwide. Insecticides are heavily relied upon to help curb their numbers, but because of problems with increased insecticide resistance and the environmental impacts of insecticides, scientists are trying to find new ways of fighting this pest.
Farmers and authorities throughout Asia need to be vigilant against fall armyworm invasions, after confirmation that the fast-moving pest has spread from India to China and now to South-East Asia, agricultural experts say.
Whilst many introduced alien species have little effect on the ecosystems in which they exist, others can have devastating impacts on biodiversity, causing extinctions at local and global scales. However, some scientists argue that the impact of alien species has been exaggerated, and suggest that native species are just as likely to cause extinctions. Researchers from University College London set out to determine if this was the case. Continue reading
Tibonge Mfune sampling fall armyworm larvae to survey for natural enemies in Zambia.
Youth unemployment is a significant economic and social burden for Zambia. So too is the impact of invasive species on agricultural production and the natural environment.
Are these mutually exclusive challenges, or can youth unemployment and tackling agricultural challenges, such as invasive species, be effectively positioned together to deliver jobs, food security and sustainable agriculture?
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Warmer temperatures increase the metabolism and reproductive rates of the pest
Fall Armyworm was first reported in July 2018 in Karnataka. Ever since, it has spread to its neighbouring states. Reports are now coming from West Bengal and Bihar as well. The initial damages are widespread as the pest is a voracious feeder. But we have reacted quickly. The Karnataka government, for example, has issued ad hoc recommendations for emergency response against it.
Coinciding with its regional consultation with member states in Africa, CABI hosted a policy summit on invasive species in Gaborone, Botswana on 28 February. About 70 delegates representing policymakers, research, the private sector and civil society from across Africa gathered to learn about and discuss the impact of invasives as well as the technical and policy solutions required to defeat them.