This article is a summary of an evidence note commissioned by the UK Department for International Development, which aimed to assess the potential impact of FAW in Africa if left uncontrolled, and recommend and prioritise control options. The first confirmed reports of FAW were from West Africa in early 2016. Research to date suggests that both strains of FAW that are found in the Americas entered Africa, perhaps as stowaways on commercial aircraft, before subsequent widespread dispersal by the wind. The probability is high (>90%) that the introduction to Africa was from the characterised Florida strain of FAW, which is restricted to the eastern seaboard of the USA, and the Caribbean islands. Based on information from literature searches, personal communications and internet mining, as for August 2017 28 countries have confirmed the presence of FAW. Models were used to investigate the environmental (climatic) factors affecting the distribution of FAW. Fall Armyworm in Africa has the potential to cause maize yield losses in a range from 8.3 to 20.6m tonnes per annum, in the absence of any control methods, in just 12 of Africa’s maize-producing countries. This represents 21%–53% of the annual production of maize averaged over a three year period in these countries, with an esitimated value of between $2,481m and $6,187m. FAW should be expected to spread throughout suitable habitats in mainland sub-Saharan Africa within the next few cropping seasons. Northern Africa and Madagascar are also at risk. Control of FAW requires an integrated pest management (IPM) approach and recommendations are made.headline in the Guardian newspaper (Guardian, 2017).
DFID commissioned CABI to compile an evidence note, which was published by CABI in September 2017 (Abrahams et al. 2017). This article is a summary of the evidence note, which aimed to assess the potential impact of FAW in Africa if left uncontrolled, and recommend and prioritise control options.
Day, R., Abrahams, P., Bateman, M., Beale, T., Clottey, V., Cock, M., Colmenarez, Y., Corniani, N., Early, R., Godwin, J., Gomez, J., Gonzalez Moreno, P., Murphy, S.T., Oppong-Mensah, B., Phiri, N., Pratt, C., Silvestri, S. and Witt, A. (2017) Fall armyworm: impacts and implications for Africa. Outlooks on Pest Management 28(5), 196–201.
Fall armyworm: impacts and implications for Africa