• Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:42 am

Fall Armyworm poses threat to farmers’ income, livelihoods

  • Published at 12:02 pm November 23rd, 2020
Fall Armyworm poses threat to farmers’ income, livelihoods
Facilitators conduct a technical training program on the threats of Fall Armyworm (FAW) and how to overcome them in Chuadanga on Sunday, November 22, 2020 Courtesy

An invasive pest native to the Americas, it was identified in Bangladesh for the first time in late 2018 following migration from southern India

Fall Armyworm (FAW) presented an important threat to farmers’ income and livelihoods, experts said at a launching of a technical training program on Sunday.

To tackle this issue, with support from both USAID and Michigan State University’s Borlaug Higher Education for Agricultural Research and Development (BHEARD), the project “Fighting Back against the Fall Armyworm in Bangladesh” was launched to work synergistically with the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) project in extending integrated pest management solutions to farmers.

Both projects are led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), and they collaborate with the Bangladesh Wheat and Maize Research Institute (BWMRI) and Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE).

As a part this work, the training was inaugurated at Hotel Shahid Palace, Chuadanga, where 55 women officials of Department of Agricultural Extensions (DAE) participated in order to empower them to advise farmers and women in particular on how to make smart pest management decisions that lower the risk of pesticide exposure and poisoning in Bangladesh.

Fall Armyworm, an invasive pest native to the Americas, was identified in Bangladesh for the first time in late 2018 following migration from southern India, said a press release.

Maize, the second most widely grown cereal crop in the country, was very profitable to the farmers to have a better income and ensure food security. But this invasive pest preferred maize as a host crop, said Partha Protim Saha, additional director, DAE, Jashore Region and chief guest of the event.

Nurul Alam, senior entomologist coordinating this training program as lead facilitator, presented the key aspects of the training program including identification of FAW, field Scouting techniques, its biology, and how to monitor the effects of this invasive pest using moth counts.

The government initiated an app-based monitoring system to track the level of infestation with the technical support from CIMMYT, said Md Ali Ahsan, deputy director, DAE, Chuadanga.

Dr Khandakar Shafiqul Islam, hub coordinator, CIMMYT, shared a glimpse of the ongoing activities of CIMMYT in this region on cereal systems initiative and the ongoing collaborative activities on managing the FAW like generating evidence and developing educational guidelines to facilitate training on IPM to combat FAW for the public and private sector.

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