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FAO, EMBRAPA, Cabo Verde, Guinee Bissau and Mozambique join efforts for sustainable Fall Armyworm management

16/04/2019 - 

A team from the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (EMBRAPA, in its Portuguese acronym), visited the city of Praia, Cabo Verde, from 1 to 6 April 2019, in the framework of a South-South Cooperation (SSC) activity. The initiative aimed at sharing knowledge and information with experts from Cabo Verde, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique on the sustainable control and integrated management of the Fall Armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda.

The participants learned about the Brazilian experience in biological control technologies, and then drafted a work plan for the local production of this pest’s natural enemies (Trichogramma wasps and bio-insecticides based on Bacillus thuringiensis) in the three Portuguese-speaking countries.

The FAW is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas and has been detected in Africa and Asia. FAO is actively promoting SSC to bring this experience and knowledge to Africa, and this mission allowed a first-hand exchange of knowledge from a country that was previously affected and that has developed knowledge and best practices in the sustainable control of the FAW.

The mission also allowed for a joint discussion on the work plans and perspectives for innovation in the biological control of the FAW. This particular issue is a global concern due to direct threats to food security and nutrition, as well as to the livelihoods of the farming communities. In this context, FAO has been actively working to help to combat this threat, aiming to build sustainable and resilient food production systems.

The mission was undertaken under the framework of FAO’s Global Programme for technical assistance to the countries affected by the FAW. This particular mission to Cabo Verde took place in the context of a project financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

This activity is also an example of the potentialities of SSC among member States of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP in its Portuguese acronym), which covers several regions of the world: Latin America (Brazil), Africa (Angola, Cabo Verde, Guinee Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe), Asia (Timor-Leste) and Europe (Portugal). The advantage of sharing the same language is an engine that facilitates the technical exchanges among these countries.

For more information, please contact fall-armyworm@fao.org


EMBRAPA is a technological innovation company focused on the generation of knowledge and technology for Brazilian agriculture and livestock. It was created in 1973 and is linked to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA in its Portuguese acronym). Its mission is to develop, together with their partners in the National Agricultural Research System (SNPA, in its Portuguese acronym), a model of a genuine Brazilian agriculture and cattle breeding, overcoming the barriers that limited the production of food, fiber and energy in Brazil.

In 2015, FAO signed a Memorandum of Understanding with EMBRAPA to establish a general cooperation agreement aimed at promoting joint initiatives of technical and scientific cooperation, agricultural research activities, capacity development, and technology transfer, including through SSC. Currently, EMBRAPA and FAO are negotiating an agreement to cooperate specifically in the area of biological control solutions for Spodoptera frugiperda.

About FAO’s Global Programme for the Sustainable Management of the FAW:

FAO is taking an active role in coordinating partners' activities, plans and approaches to provide sustainable solutions to the FAW challenge. It has set up a five-year programme of action to help smallholder farmers, their organizations, their public institutions, national governments and development partners quickly respond to the challenges of FAW infestation. SSC, especially among researchers and practitioners from the Americas and counterparts in Africa and Asia, will be promoted.