ADDIS ABABA (Xinhua) --
The African Union (AU) has said it is very
concerned that the Fall Armyworm is likely to worsen the
stress faced by millions of families suffering from food
shortages as a result of the droughts, especially in eastern
and southern Africa.
Feeding on maize
and other crops such as rice, sorghum, cassava, which are key
staples in most African countries, the pest has been reported
in more than 25 countries across the continent, and it is
still spreading, the pan-African bloc noted.
A press conference
on infestation of Fall Armyworm was organized on Friday at the
AU Headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, to brief
the African continent on the gravity of the situation
presented by the pest and measures taken in connection with
Speaking on the
occasion, Quartey Kwesi Thomas, Deputy Chairperson of the AU
Commission, noted that the food security situation in most
African countries would be greatly compromised if the pest is
not well managed to control its spreading.
“The AU Commission
is determined to do everything possible to work with the
regional economic communities to support our member states to
understand the nature of the Fall Armyworm and how to manage
and control it so that its impact is minimized,” he said.
“To do this, the
AU Commission is calling upon everyone to join hands with us
in the fight against this devastating pest,” said the Deputy
need to have accurate information on the pest and the measures
to be taken to control it, he also called on development
partners to provide financial support in generating for
knowledge on the Fall Armyworm and in the efforts to mobilize
African leaders to fight the pest.
commission to be effective in fulfilling its mandates, we need
to receive regular and accurate information from technical
organizations on the spread of the pest and its impact on crop
yields and measures being taken to control it,” he said.
In her remarks on
the occasion, Josefa Sacko, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy
and Agriculture, noted on her part that AU is very concerned
about the impact the pest would have on food production, food
security, farmer incomes and regional trade.
stated that the AU Commission is taking leadership to raise
awareness among AU heads of states, and ministers responsible
for agriculture using the different platforms at continental
and regional levels.
“We are concerned
that the impact of this pest will further increase the stress
brought about by recent droughts, especially in Eastern and
Southern Africa, where most countries have report the FAW
(Fall Armyworm),” she said.