Action mondiale pour la lutte contre la chenille légionnaire d'automne

Trainers receive training on best use of FAMEWS in Mozambique and Madagascar

23 April 2020

Fall armyworm (FAW) is a devastating insect that feeds on more than 80 crops but prefers maize. FAW spread quickly across the African continent, threatening food security in many countries including Mozambique and Madagascar, where maize is an important staple. Maize also plays a vital role in the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in these countries.  

Through the Global Action for Fall Armyworm Control, a three-year initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), a mission to Mozambique and Madagascar was organized from 10 to 22 February 2020. This was designed to conduct training sessions for trainers on how to use FAO‘s FAW Monitoring and Early Warning System (FAMEWS). The mobile application supports data collection and navigation on a global platform, to understand the current FAW situation at country and regional levels. FAMEWS is used by farmers, community focal persons and extension agents to send and share vital data about FAW. Collected data helps generate detailed and reliable information that can be used to help understand changes in FAW populations over time, as well as the pest’s ecology and behaviour. That information is then used to guide best management options.

FAW was first reported in Mozambique and Madagascar in 2017. It was identified in the Gaza, Zambézia, Niassa, Tete, Manica, and Maputo provinces of Mozambique; and Bongolava province in Madagascar. In all monitored areas, FAW was confirmed with high density, and high levels of infestations and damage to crops. The Mozambique training sessions included 22 participants while another 18 participants joined in Madagascar – all extension workers drawn from various regions in each country. These participants learned how to use FAMEWS mobile app for data collection from field scouting and pheromone trapping; were trained in how to review and validate data collected; and in how to use FAMEWS as an education and communication tool.

Training was also provided in using the FAW global platform to review country/regional situations concerning FAW and in the use of analyses made to inform decision-making. In both countries, training sessions also included a field visit by participants – to Inhambane in Mozambique and Ambohimiandra in Madagascar – for demonstrations of data collection in the field. Through these training programmes, participants acquired the technical skills necessary to use the FAMEWS mobile app to monitor FAW to provide early warnings and action; and to use the global platform to understand pest behaviour, its ecology and levels of infestation. Technical capacities of national focal points to review and validate data in PlantVillage were also strengthened.