DAR ES SALAAM, (Xinhua) --
The International Institute of Tropical
Agriculture (IITA) in collaboration with its partners have
trained at least 300 agricultural officers and farmers in
Tanzania on control of fall armyworms, IITA said in a statement
“The training is
part of concerted efforts by the government and stakeholders in
Tanzania’s agricultural sector to reduce losses being suffered
by maize farmers across the country due to this highly invasive
pest,” said the IITA statement issued in the commercial capital
Dar es Salaam.
It said the training
was held in the country’s southern highlands between January and
February and was conducted by staff of the Africa RISING-NAFAKA
Partnership and Scaling Project which is funded by the United
States Agency for International Development (USAID) mission in
The Africa RISING
project is led by IITA and NAFAKA is led by ACDI-VOCA, an
international development nonprofit organization based in the
United States that fosters broad-based economic growth, raises
living standards, and creates vibrant communities.
officers and farmers were trained on how to scout for and
identify the armyworm, appropriate control methods such as the
safe and correct use of pesticides, and cultural practices for
managing the pests, said the statement.
The fall armyworm
devours everything on its path before turning into a moth and is
native to Central America, was first reported in Africa in
Nigeria in early 2016.
Since then it has
spread rapidly across the continent attacking maize farms with
no regard for country borders. It was confirmed in both Tanzania
and Kenya in early 2017.
The pest attacks
economically important crops such as maize, wheat, millet,
sorghum, sugarcane and rice at all stages and can cause up to
complete crop loss.
According to a
report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
in August 2017, the pest had been reported in 14 regions in
Tanzania and already caused a 3 percent reduction in maize
yields in 2017.
“We expect that each
of the trainers will train at least 200 farmers in each village
on how to control the fall armyworm and design spraying programs
as well as support the spray service providers made up of youth,
producer organizations, and village-based agricultural agents,”
said IITA Technology Scaling Specialist, Haroon Sseguya.