MASS EXTENSION CAMPAIGN FOR FALL ARMYWORM MANAGEMENT

Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), FAW (Nkongwa idasanzwe), is an invasive insect pest of American origin that feeds on more than 80 crop species, causing damage to economically important cultivated cereals such as maize, rice, sorghum, and also to legumes as well as vegetable crops.  This pest was reported in Rwanda in March, 2017 Mushishito marshland in Nyamagabe district of Southern Province for the first time. In light of the significance of maize crop in Rwanda, it is urgent to find a collective and concerted response to the management of this serious pest across the country.

Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) in Collaboration with local Government (Districts) and in support with Center for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) is conducting a mass extension campaign (MEC) through radio programs and plant health rallies for FAW management.

The campaign on radio is conducted using dramas and live programme on Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) while Plant health rally (PHR), an extension approach that is used to create awareness, educate and demonstrate to farmers how to manage plant health problems, is done on field. This campaign is focusing on field monitoring for FAW presence, FAW identification and its distinction with the normal maize stalk borer, damage symptoms on maize attacked by FAW and its management; safe use of pesticides and self-protection (use of Personal Protective Equipment) while applying those pesticides.

The mass extension campaign is being conducted across the country in Gicumbi, Burera, Rulindo, Gakenke, Musanze, Rubavu, Nyagatare, Gatsibo, Ngoma, Kirehe, Rwamagana, Bugesera, Huye, and Nyaruguru Districts and will continue in other districts during this 20A cropping Season.

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