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May 16th, 2017 / SciDev.net

B4FA Fellow Samuel Hinneh reports: Research that explores the interaction between fall armyworm life patterns and insecticide spray timing is urgently needed to tackle the pest currently devastating maize in Africa, scientists say.

The fall armyworm, scientifically called Spodoptera frugiperda, is native to the Americas, and attacks maize and a variety of other food crops in various African countries including Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Togo, South Africa and Zambia.

The scientists were speaking at a consultative workshop convened by the UK-based Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) and Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate last month.

The workshop was attended by key actors in research institutes, universities, international development organisations and farmer-based organisations in Ghana to develop short- and long-term action plans to control the pest. Read more