About Fall Armyworm
The Fall Armyworm is a pest in form of a caterpillar that attacks and destroys maize and other crops. When it infests maize, this caterpillar feeds on all parts of the crop except the roots. This pest has been spreading in a number of African countries and so far it has been confirmed in 11 countries including Uganda and suspected to be present in 14 other countries.
If it is not controlled, the Fall Armyworm can cause massive destruction of maize, causing up to 100% yield loss.
Fall armyworm is most devastating in maize crops and grasses, but can also feed on bean, groundnuts, potato, sweet potato, alfalfa, spinach, tomato, cabbage, cucumber, cotton, tobacco and all grain crops.
The effective monitoring of Fall armyworm’s movement is a pivotal first step in the management of this pest. Early detection of Fall armyworm presence can be especially challenging, since the caterpillars feed on the crop overnight and migrate to a new food source in the early morning hours. The first indication of a problem should be identifying the presence of the pest population, allowing for a rapid and effective response to prevent yield loss.
We have integrated our feedback mechanism in the radio programs to capture the opinions of citizens and also to understand what kind of practices they are using to detect and control the fall armyworm. We believe that this data will be vital for researchers and other development partners in the fight against the fall armyworm.