SDSN Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems hosted the fully online e-conference Responding to Fall Armyworm in Asia from 10-12 July, 2019. Fall armyworm is native to the Americas but spread to Africa in 2016 and to Asia last year. It attacks maize and various other important food crops and thus poses a serious threat to food security. Over 300 participants registered for this e-conference to learn about fall armyworm in Asia in 3 live sessions with experts and to connect with each other via the online conference platform.

Wednesday 10 July: Fall armyworm identification, monitoring and status

On the first day of the e-conference, Kris Wyckhuys (Chrysalis Consulting) explained what fall armyworm looks like, how you can recognize it in your fields and outlined the variety of management options that are available (slides). Keith Cressman (FAO) demonstrated the new version of FAO’s monitoring app for fall armyworm which not only monitors the pest but also offers farmers advice (slides). Watch the video to learn more.

Thursday 11 July: Options to respond to fall armyworm in Asia

On the second day of the e-conference, Paul Jepson (Oregon State University) explained how certain pesticides do more harm than good by killing natural enemies and harming human health (slides). Malvika Chaudhary (CABI) then discussed the various options for biological control, i.e. biological control by introduction, augmentation and conservation (slides). Isaac Oyediran (Syngenta) discussed the role that Bt maize could play and the importance of insect resistance management for Bt maize (slides). Watch the video to learn more.

Friday 12 July: Responding to fall armyworm on-farm

On the last day of the e-conference, we zoomed in on the farmers and their reality. Fred Baudron (CIMMYT) shared insights on factors contributing to fall armyworm infestation and the impact on yields, based on 2 years of data on smallholder farms in Zimbabwe (slides). Anne-Sophie Poisot (FAO) focused on effective strategies to reach out to farmers, explaining that employing multiple approaches works best (see, hear and do) (slides). Watch the video to learn more.