CABI warns of rapid spread of crop-devastating fall armyworm across Asia

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Scientists discuss various plant diseases with local farmers as they attend a Plantwise plant clinic in India. Photo: CABI

CABI scientists have today warned of the impending rapid spread of the crop-devastating pest, fall armyworm, across Asia following its arrival in India, with major crop losses expected unless urgent action is taken. The warning comes following a pest alert published this week by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on the website of one of its bureaux, NBAIR, confirming the discovery of fall armyworm in the southern state of Karnataka. CABI scientists warned Asia was at risk from fall armyworm following the pest’s rapid spread across Africa in 2017.

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Fall Armyworm Is Here to Stay. But We Can Manage.

By Roger Day. Reblogged from Fall Armyworm Tech Prize

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In 1996 in response to the first international meeting on invasive alien species, the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) a collaboration between the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), the International Union for Conservation (IUCN), and the Scientific Committee for Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), was launched. In 2001, GISP published a Global Strategy on Invasive Alien Species, shedding light on the magnitude of these invasive plant and animal species—which destroy agriculture and habitat—and outlined a global-scale response. In addition, the Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity recognized the urgent need to address the impact of invasive species, and in 2002, COP6 included the adoption  of Guiding Principles for the Prevention, Introduction and Mitigation of Impacts of Alien Species that Threaten Ecosystems, Habitats or Species.

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Twenty Innovators Selected to Tackle Fall Armyworm in Africa with Digital Solutions

By Lauren Bieniek. Reblogged from Agrilinks.

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It’s hard to believe that a small worm could destroy millions  millions of tons of crop yields, millions of dollars in farm income and millions of tons of food for families.

I’m talking about the Fall Armyworm (FAW), an invasive pest that has spread quickly across the African continent. Originally from the Americas, FAW was first reported in West Africa in early 2016 and now seriously threatens food supplies across the continent.

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March of the Armyworm

By Stephanie Parker. Reblogged from Earth Island Journal.

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Since fall armyworms invaded his maize fields in central Ethiopia last year, Mohamud Abdu has had little success controlling them. He estimates that he lost 50 percent of his crop in 2017. Photo: Stephanie Parker

Mohamud Abdu stands tall in his maize field in Alaba, Ethiopia, a small agricultural district over 200 kilometers south of the country’s capital, Addis Ababa. Smooth green leaves reach up to his waist. The field is off a dirt road where children ride old bicycles and the occasional wooden cart, pulled by donkeys and piled high with people, passes by.

The sea of green where Abdu stands looks lush and healthy at first glance. The maize stalks are planted closely together and the leaves rustle gently in the wind. But upon inspection, these leaves are riddled with holes and plant detritus litter the remainder. Abdu pries open the whorl of a nearby maize plant with his fingers, and takes out a small caterpillar, roughly an inch long. It squirms on his palm.

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A night at the movies: with soybean and fall armyworm as stars of the show

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A similar screening takes place with a community in Uganda

Farmers in northern Ghana are beginning to get a taste of the latest movie out of the Box Office – it’s not a romantic comedy or a thriller – instead it’s a production that will help them get more from their soybean crops and protect their maize from the fall armyworm caterpillar.

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