Arusha — The Tropical Pesticides Research Institute (TPRI) has released a new system of controlling fall armyworms.
The move comes after seven pesticides, developed by TPRI in 2017, proved to be ineffective against the type of worms, scientifically known as Spodoptera frugiperda.
The pesticides include Belt 480 Sc, Duduba 450 Ec, and Emamectin Benzoate, Mupacron 50Ec, Abamectin 5% and Lambda Cyhalothrin 'karate'.
TPRI director Margaret Mollel told The Citizen that initially the pesticides worked well, but poor application by farmers led to ineffectiveness.
"Some farmers have been spraying pesticides during the day instead of evening," Dr Mollel said. "We have started educating them on proper use."
According to her, pesticides such as Lambda-Cyhalothrine, Abamectin 5%, Indoxacarb, Deltamentrine, Imidacloprid, and Colagen are recommended.
Bucciluss thuringiensis and Meterihzium anisoplie can be used when worms are confirmed to have penetrated at the heart of the stem.
Fall armyworms have spread to Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Tanga, Manyara, Rukwa, Morogoro, Katavi, Singida, Tabora, Simiyu, Dodoma, Ruvuma, Mbeya, Songwe, Njombe, Mtwara, Lindi, Dar es Salaam and Iringa.
TPRI's senior pesticide researcher, Mr Maneno Chidege, fall armyworms were for the first time spotted in Tanzania in 2016, and pesticides were developed to control them.
However, their ineffectiveness prompted TPRI to come up with a new spraying system.
"The system requires application of the pesticides after observing some of the symptoms including bacteria and fungus," he said.