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FAO in Myanmar

Enhancing capacity to fight the global threat: Fall Armyworm

25/06/2019

Originating from the tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas, the Fall Armyworm (FAW) was first detected in Africa in early 2016. Since then it has rapidly spread to a total of 44 countries in Africa by 2018, infesting tens of millions of hectares of crop fields. The caterpillar or larva, feeds on more than 80 crop species, several of which are major crops in Myanmar including maize, rice, sorghum, millet, sugarcane, vegetable crops and cotton. With its speedy spreading rate, the FAW was confirmed in Myanmar for the first time in late 2018 in maize fields in the Ayeyarwady region and spread to 9 States/Regions within a short period of the same year.

Realizing the urgency of the situation, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) requested FAO Myanmar to provide emergency technical assistance to determine the level of infestation, map the extent of infestation in Myanmar and recommend management actions. Following MoALI’s request, FAO launched an emergency FAW project through its Technical Cooperation Programme on 14 June 2019 in Nay Pyi Taw. Senior officials of MoALI across the country and representatives from stakeholder organizations participated in the inception workshop where the ministry presented the current situation of FAW in Myanmar followed by discussions on early warning system, monitoring activities and integrated pest management of the country. International experience on FAW management and the use of FAW training materials including mobile applications (FAMEWS) were shared by FAO experts.

The FAW infestation has short and long-term impacts on agricultural production, food security and poultry industry; hence it affects livelihoods in the country. FAO’s FAW project will contribute to the protection of livelihoods and food security of smallholder farmers – living in FAW affected areas. Through the project, current infestation and spread of FAW will be reduced as well as the sustainable management strategies will be developed by strengthening the FAW monitoring system and the integrated management capacities of the stakeholders at all levels.