In September 2017 the UK Aid published a report commissioned by the UK Department for International Development called: “Fall Armyworm: Impacts and Implications for Africa”.

According to the report, the fall armyworm (FAW) could potentially cause maize yield losses in a range from 8.3 million to 20.6 million tonnes in 12 of Africa’s countries per annum if no control methods are put in place. The value of these losses is estimated at between US$2,481 million and US$6,187 million.

At the time of this document’s publication, 28 countries in Africa had confirmed the pest in their territory, compared to 12 countries in April 2017. A further nine countries have conducted or are presently conducting surveys, and either strongly suspect its presence or are awaiting official confirmation. Two countries have stated that the FAW is absent. No information on FAW presence or absence could be gathered from the remaining 15 countries.

The report states that the FAW should be expected to spread throughout suitable habitats in mainland sub-Saharan Africa within the next few cropping seasons. Northern Africa and Madagascar are also at risk. Maize is the most important staple cereal crop grown by smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa and over 200 million people depend on the crop for food security.

To read more about the implications of fall armyworm in Africa, click here to access the report.