Piloting area-wide management of fall army worm in Kenya
Since the first reports of fall armyworm in Africa, CABI together with partners have implemented various campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of farmers on fall armyworm identification, monitoring and management. The campaigns have largely targeted individual farmers.
In 2019, CABI piloted an area-wide pest management strategy along farmer participatory testing of various pest management options in Kenya. Fall armyworm area-wide management trials also included introduction of low risk fall armyworm management products to farmers and to give them the opportunity to try them out. Initial results are positive but the strategy needs to be further developed as participants were self-selected and so were already positively inclined to using biological products.
In 2020, work with communities to develop area-wide management of invasives will continue in Kenya, and new pilots established in Ghana and Zambia, focused particularly on the use of biological approaches, including agronomic practices such as synchronized planting and pest monitoring. Based on the experiences in 2019, wider engagement of community members by facilitators will be used to ensure larger numbers of farmers are involved over larger areas. This will also involve collection of weekly fall armyworm population data in parallel to the farmers’ observations to determine pest intensity.