Fall Armyworm Conference – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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An International Conference on Fall Armyworm Research for Development, convened by the Africa Union, CGIAR Centres, USAID, FAO, CABI, ICIPE and AGRA, was held from the 29 – 31 October at the Africa Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Among the over 200 participants were Yimenu Jembere and Aklilu Asfaw from CropLife Ethiopia, partners from Fintrac, CropLife member companies with Andy Ward representing CropLife International.
The workshop presented research on FAW biology, monitoring, forecasting and management with experiences from Latin America as well as in Africa. Concerns were expressed about the use of Class 1 insecticides but there was significant support for the acceleration of registration procedures for the newer chemistries and calls for the registration of genetically modified maize varieties. Discussions included the potential role that the Africa Union could play in the co-ordination of registration efforts and the promotion of common messages to those promoting FAW management.
CropLife were promoting farmer and policy maker empowerment through providing them with realistic, not exaggerated, information on the efficacy, reliability and considerations for implementing different pest control practices. There is a need to be realistic in terms of effective channels for providing information to farmers, focusing where there are appropriate channels and helping to strengthen communication where communication is currently weak. The other message CropLife promoted was the need to take an African approach on FAW management, utilizing Africa’s assets e.g. youth, social structures etc.
The workshop participants were invited to join a FAW research platform. This platform will link with the FAO Technical Working Groups on FAW management.

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