The project mobilised nationwide extension system to implement IPM based grassroot actions, empowers thousands of farmers to fight the menace of fall armyworm.
Spodoptera frugiperda, aka Fall Armyworm (FAW) – a highly invasive pest with substantial appetite, landed on Indian soils for the first time in May 2018. The pest quickly became a nationwide nuisance. By the end of 2018, FAW spread across the major maize growing regions and emerged as a significant threat to Indian farmers and agriculture. The early emergence in the crop life cycle, voracious feeding habit, large-scale aggressive behaviour, high reproduction, fast migration, and irreversible nature of crop damage, all made FAW a key pest. Notably, the FAW fed on many host plants and was found on sweet corn, baby corn, maize, sugarcane, and sorghum, with the potential to feed on many other agriculturally important food and feed crops in India. By early 2019, the FAW pest was reported in the states of Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and West Bengal.