The constraints the project sought to address related to the production of cereals, staple crops in east Africa but with yields that are highly variable due to the unpredictability of climate and pest attack. This variability is a key constraint to rural development, causing periodic crisis and hardship for rural communities. Improved forecasting of sporadic but serious crop pests is at the heart of the approach to reduce this variability. The losses due to armyworm, Spodoptera exempta, are virtually zero in some years and immense in others (Scott 1991). A reduction in the impact of armyworm attack, hinges around the timely supply and use of effective agro-chemicals (which are also safe and environmentally benign). Forecasting is directed toward improving the supply, targeting and timing of pesticide use.
Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, UK., 41 pp. plus separate annexes.