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Piloting Fawligen for fall armyworm management in South Sudan

A partnership between CABI, a private sector partner-AgBiTech, CIMMYT, FAO, USAID and the South Sudan Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS), piloted the use of the biopesticide “Fawligen” to manage FAW among 500 smallholder farmers (500 ha in total) in South Sudan. The pilot was implemented at Yambio, Bor and Juba regions. Fawligen is a high quality, high concentrate formulation of Spodoptera fruigiperda nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV), a naturally occurring and highly effective natural virus of Spodoptera spp.

The farmers were clustered into 10-20 groups of 50 farmers. Each cluster identified a lead farmer who was trained to support other farmers and use his, or her, own farm as a learning /demo site where they could follow a standard protocol and use available tools.

Crop yield data collected at the end of the growing season from three of the four sites, representing  315 feddans in Bor, Juba, and Yambio, demonstrated that the application of Fawligen resulted in a 63% yield gain on average, or 0.81t/ha, when compared to untreated maize fields.

The increased production was equivalent to $609/ha which more than covered the $72/ha cost for six sprays of Fawligen.

A farmers survey carried out at the end of the pilot revealed that 63.2% felt the Fawligen treatment had been very successful, and 95% were willing to pay for Fawligen if it was available at a stockist near to them, at a price comparable to a synthetic insecticide.

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Mark Edwardes
Mark Edwardes (@marke)
3 years ago

How does the $72 cost compare to an effective synthetic pesticide? It seems to me that six sprays is a lot.