A new app developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) helps South African farmers track the Fall Armyworm outbreak and access resources on how to combat it.
The Fall Armyworm is a formidable enemy. They are nocturnal and complete their lifecycles within twenty-one days. They attack maize, wheat, and sorghum at all crop stages, entering the critical organs of the plant and preventing it from growing. The worm’s impact is worsened by COVID-19 movement restrictions, as farmers cannot reach their fields to monitor and respond to the situation. With restrictions lifting throughout the country, only recently have farmers slowly been returning to survey the damage.