Global Action for Fall Armyworm Control

Training event draws 19 countries for Global Action for Fall Armyworm Control in West Africa

21 December 2022

The training event included some 35 participants from 19 countries in the geo-zone, many of whom also visited technology demonstration and evaluation farms in Pampaso, in the Ashanti region of southern Ghana. (Photo: © FAO)


Focal points from demonstration and pilot countries in the western Africa geo-zone came together in Accra, Ghana, in early November 2022 for a three-day training workshop plus field visits and information exchanges on integrated pest management (IPM) technologies developed for the region.

Participants, including plant protection officers from FAO Subregional and Regional Offices, also met members of farmer field schools supported by the Global Action (GA) in Ghana and discussed their experiences with FAW and its impact on crop yields. 

As well, they toured a Ghana Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) laboratory that demonstrated ongoing work in mass rearing of Telenomus remus and Bacillus thuringiensis to control FAW. Participants also saw the Nsawam prison farm, where maize is grown on 40 ha for prisoners’ food. 

The training workshop, which began 8 November 2022, encouraged information exchange, learning about progress and results of the GA implementation in Burkina Faso as a demonstration country and Ghana as frontline pilot country during the last three years, and collected suggestions from focal points on the way forward for implementation of the GA.

FAW IPM tactics that have been developed in consultation with the GA Technical Committee were presented and an update was provided on FAW monitoring and early warning systems in Africa. 

Specialists also introduced training on biological control methods and biopestides for FAW management. Representatives from Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), El Instituto Nacional de Investigação e Desenvolvimento Agràrio (INIDA) in Cabo Verde, Ghana’s Plant Quarantine Division, L'Institut National des Recherches Agricoles du Bénin (INRAB), and Malawi’s Department of Agricultural Research Services (DARS) presented at the event.

Countries reported on their particular FAW situation, and demonstration and first-line pilot countries – including Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, and Malawi – shared results on IPM technologies promoted. Other pilot countries in the region include Benin, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. The western Africa geo-zone has developed its own, particular regional IPM strategy for FAW control and work plan. 

Since 2016, FAW has rapidly spread around Africa, the Near East, Asia and the Pacific. FAO’s GA was launched in December 2019 with the objective of reducing crop losses due to the insect pest, decreasing the risk of FAW’s further spread and infestation in countries with limited presence of the pest, and establishing a coordination mechanism at global, regional, and national levels. The GA is coordinated by the Plant Production and Protection Division through the FAW Secretariat.

As a follow-up to the event, further technical and financial support will be provided to support work in Ghana as a first line pilot country. Focus will be given to the training and capacity development of farmers and extension workers on the use of biological control.  

The GA is being implemented globally in eight demonstration countries including Burkina Faso, Cameroon, China, Egypt, India, Kenya, Malawi, and the Philippines, with 54 pilot countries facilitated through the demonstration countries. The key action for demonstration countries has been to develop, validate, and scale-up their particular regional IPM strategies.