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Crop Biotech Update

Fall Armyworm Expected to Spread from India to Other Parts of Asia

August 15, 2018

Fall Armyworm is likely to spread from India to other countries in South East Asia and South China, putting food security and farmer livelihoods at risk. This news is according to the warning of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The pest was first reported in Asia affecting crops in India. The insect has the ability to fly over long distances (100 km per night) and destroy crops such as maize, rice, vegetables, groundnuts, and cotton. Fall armyworm was native to the Americas and has already spread across Africa, where it was first reported in 2016.

FAO offered their expertise to farmers and governments in Asia on managing the pest through the following actions:

  • Implement the Fall Armyworm Monitoring and Early Warning System (FAMEWS);
  • Produce accurate estimates of potential crop-loss;
  • Provide policy and technical advice about best management options for farmers;
  • Rollout a continent-wide programme of farmer education and communication; and
  • Maintain technical backstopping and coordination efforts at country, sub-regional, regional, and global level.

Read more from FAO.