African armyworm (Spodoptera exempta) (AAW) outbreaks were reported in Lindi, Coastal, Morogoro and Tanga Regions in Tanzania and Kwale and Coastal countries in Kenya during March and control operations were undertaken by the affected farmers with material and technical assistance from MoA (DLCO/EA, IRLCO-CSA).
Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) (FAW) invasions were detected in irrigated maize fields in the SNNP Region in Ethiopia during the 1st week of March and by April it had spread over 41 Weredas in 8 Zones in the Region and reached western Ormomia Region causing damage to maize crops and Enset. MoA and affected farmers controlled more than 2,100 Ha with chemical and mechanical means (Note: dislodging a single FAW larva through handpicking may mean reducing the next egg mass by more than 1,000). The prevailing northward wind trajectory will likely carry the pest to the central and northern parts of the country and beyond and threaten crops (PPD/Ethiopia). The pest continued attacking late planted maize crops in Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe (IRLCOCSA). In Uganda, AAW and FAW outbreaks were reported in twenty (20) districts across the Country and continued spreading (DLCO-EA).
African Armyworm (Spodoptera exempta) (AAW):
AAW outbreaks were reported in Lindi (Kilwa district), Coastal (Bagamoyo, Charinze, Mukuranga and Kibaha districts), Morogoro (Umvumero, Kilombelo, Kilosa and Morogoro districts) and Tanga (Handeni, Lushoto and Muheza districts) regions in Tanzania. The pest was controlled by the affected farmers with material and technical assistance from MoAL. AAW outbreak was also reported in Kwale and Coast counties in Kenya where control operations were carried out by the affected farmers with technical assistance from the MoA. Elevated trap catches have been reported in southern Ethiopia in Gamugofa zone during March (DLCO-EA, IRLCO-CSA, PPD/Ethiopia).
Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) (FAW):
FAW, a fast spreading, voracious multi-crop pest, that was previously reported causing damage to maize crops in dozens of countries across southern, southcentral, the greater lake and eastern Africa, including Swaziland, Lesotho, South Africa, Botswana, DRC, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania and Ghana, has been reported in Kenya and Ethiopia.
As of the 1st week of March 2017, the pest had reached southern Ethiopia, where it was first detected on irrigated maize fields in Sheka Zone Yeki Wereda in SNNPR of the country. It has since rapidly spread to 41 Weredas in 8 Zones in the SNNP Region and reached Shebe Wereda in Jima Zone in Ormomia Region and continues its journey. The pest was reported causing damage to maize crops and Enset plants (false banana, the roots of which are the main source of staple food for millions of people in SNNPR of Ethiopia).
Chemical and mechanical control operations were launched by MoA staff and affected farmers and treated more than 2,100 ha as of the 1st week of April (PPD/Ethiopia). With the northward trajectory of the inter-tropical front, the pest will continue spreading to the central and other parts of the country during the forecast period and threaten crops.
In Uganda, AAW and FAW outbreaks were reported in twenty (20) districts across the Country and continued spreading to others. The Ministry of Agriculture extension staff and affected farmers were spraying with insecticides. MoA/Uganda estimates a potential annual loss of some 450,000 MT of maize to unabated FAW outbreaks (DLCO-EA, OCHA).
FAW continued attacking late planted maize crops in several parts of Kenya, in Muzuzu and Karonga Agricultural Development Divisions (ADD) in Malawi and in Zimbabwe (IRLCO-CSA).
FORECAST FOR THE NEXT 6 WEEKS:
AAW: outbreaks are likely to continue in northern Tanzania. With the AAW in the southern region winding down, it is unlikely that Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe will see any activities during the forecast period. AAW outbreaks may begin appearing in southern Ethiopia during the forecast period (Note: AAW forecasters that were trained by the USAID/OFDA sponsored CBAMFEW project continue requesting GOE to refurbish their pheromone traps and avail pheromones to continue their monitoring and forecasting activities (PPD/Ethiopia). Where applicable, CABMFEW forecasters must remain vigilant and report any trap catches on time to concerned authorities to facilitate rapid interventions (DLCO-EA, IRLCO-CSA, OFDA/AELGA).
FAW: will likely remain active in late planted or irrigated maize crops during the forecast period. However, it is not clear how this will develop, but regardless, affected countries must remain vigilant and maintain monitoring, surveillance and implement preventive interventions as needed and neighboring countries must remain on alert. All countries are strongly encouraged to share any information on FAW sightings in their countries with neighboring countries.
This forecast comes from and uses material provided by DLCO-EA, IRLCO-CSA and OFDA/AELGA. It was originally issued by USAID’s Emergency Transboundary Outbreak Pest (ETOP) programme and is summarised here by the Armyworm Network (@spodoptera007) hosted by Lancaster University.