Harmonise initiatives to subdue Fall Army Worm

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Dr. Ebong, Cattermoul, Eddy, Agona and Kormawa at the conference
Key speakers at the Fall Army Worm (FAW) conference in Entebbe, Uganda have highlighted the need for a joint and coordinated assault to FAW, a devastating pest for food crops which is threatening food security in Africa. Addressing researchers and development partners drawn from Africa and the world over, in Entebbe, speaker after speaker emphasized that trans-boundary challenges such as FAW cannot be addressed by individual national efforts.
The speakers also discouraged duplication of efforts by research and development organisations, noting that it is wasteful and slows down progress.USAID Food Security Advisor, Regina Eddy, said there is need for stakeholders to harmonise and align with complimentary institutions to recognize what each party can do to add value to fight FAW. All these efforts, she noted, should lead to a regionally coordinated FAW framework.
“Right now, everybody, is doing everything, unaware what others are doing. This is not how we will get it right. We need sub-regional coordination and convening to leverage national efforts and resources,” a stakeholder noted.
The Dfid representative, Ben Cattermoul said, “We recognise the diverse impacts of Fall armyworm. It is a threat to multi-million investments in agriculture by the private sector, governments and development partners. What is required to check the impacts is leadership and action to deal a blow to the Fall armyworm.”
The FAO Sub-regional representative for Eastern Africa, Dr. Patrick Kormawa said, “If politicians do not react immediately, the problem of food insecurity will be compounded.” He called for action based on partnerships and research to provide scientific information to support evidence based advise to government.
ASARECA Interim Executive Secretary, Dr. Cyprain Ebong, said there is need for political goodwill as one of the crucial resources in fighting the Fall armyworm. “The governments need to follow political will with financial resources to implement the various actions to avert the Fall armyworm catastrophe,” he said.
Date Published: 
Monday, 25 September 2017