United States Agency for International Development (USAID) together with local partners is striving to fight fall armyworms (FAW), that has spread in more than five regions in Ethiopia. The pests have caused a 5.7pc crop yield loss last season, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources' nine-month report to the parliament.
USAID completed projects to assist smallholder farmers to control FAW, by adjusting how they farm and using a community monitoring system. The technology is in the pilot stage, with approximately 400 bucket traps, Faith Bartz Tarr (PhD), a science and technology policy fellow and agriculture officer at USAID Ethiopia, told Fortune.
The FAW only arrived about a year ago to Ethiopia in March 2017. The Agency is currently assisting with the national surveillance and monitoring strategy. The local partners, which include the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Hawassa University, Haramaya University, and the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, have been supporting the effort since 2016.