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Strengthening existing control mechanisms for armyworm and red locust outbreaks in Malawi

Strengthening existing control mechanisms for armyworm and red locust outbreaks in Malawi

Full title of the project:

Strengthening existing control mechanisms for armyworm and red locust outbreaks in Malawi focusing on surveillance, early warning, preparedness for and response to outbreaks

Target areas:

12 districts of southern Malawi

Recipient:
Contribution:
USD 700 510
01/06/2014-31/03/2017
Project code:
OSRO/MLW/403/USA
Objective:

To enhance the capacity of farmers and the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD) to prepare for and respond to armyworm and red locust outbreaks.

Key partners:

MoAIWD and the International Red Locust Control Organization for Central and Southern Africa (IRLCO-CSA).

Beneficiaries reached:

1 000 community group members and 170 MoAIWD staff.

Activities implemented:
  • Supported two MoAIWD staff to attend a regional course on community-based migratory pest monitoring, who subsequently provided training to 168 Ministry staff at all levels on topics such as identification, biology and migratory behaviour.
  • Formed 200 community-based armyworm forecasting groups and 14 red locust community monitoring groups with about 1 000 members, who received training to broaden and intensify their capacity for migratory pest detection, surveillance, monitoring and preparedness.
  • Provided the groups with the necessary equipment as relevant to the respective pest, including pheromone traps and related accessories, rain gauges, personal protective clothing and bicycles in order to facilitate their activities.
  • Integrated ground survey activities at community level and aerial surveys in collaboration with IRLCO-CSA.
  • Facilitated district-level MoAIWD to develop 12 contingency plans for the effective management of migratory pests and information.
  • Developed education and awareness materials in English and Chichewa, which were widely disseminated.
Impact:
  • Contributed to ensuring good harvests and food security through enhanced migratory plant pest monitoring, surveillance and early warning at community level.
  • Increased communities’ understanding of migratory plant pests and their access to quality equipment for African armyworm and red locust detection, monitoring and control.
  • Strengthened the knowledge of MoAIWD staff at Agriculture Development Division, district and extension planning area levels to ensure the provision of adequate extension support.
  • Fostered a strong sense of ownership among communities, with the groups generally accountable for implementing monitoring activities and transparent record keeping.
  • Supported the MoAIWD to respond in a timely manner to migratory pest outbreak alerts, as well as enhanced MoAIWD’s prioritization of red locust and African armyworm surveillance, monitoring and preparedness, and embedding of related responsibilities at the necessary levels. This resulted in no major African armyworm or red locust outbreaks in the project areas during the project period.