PlantwisePlus Blog

In 2016 the fall armyworm, a major pest in the Americas, was found in Africa for the first time. Since then it has rapidly spread across much of sub-Saharan Africa. The caterpillar feeds on more than 80 different plants, but maize is its preferred host, the most widely grown crop in Africa and a staple for half the continent. In the context of Africa’s climate, the insect is now likely to build permanent and significant populations in West, Central and Southern Africa, and spread to other regions when temperatures are favourable, posing a major threat to food security.
CABI and AGRA are hosting a side event on fall armyworm at the African Green Revolution Forum 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. If you are not attending the conference, you can watch the livesteam below on September 7 at 14:00 (UTC). The video will also be available after the event.
[Update 14:20]: Due to poor internet connectivity, we are unable to run the livestream. A video will be made available on this page after the event.


  • To provide an update on the current scale and impact of the fall armyworm invasion and the outlook for the agricultural season ahead.
  • To examine and discuss mitigation strategies, and share success stories.
  • To understand existing partnerships and forge stronger collaborations in the fight against FAW.


  • What are the patterns of spread and damage now emerging?
  • What has been and can be achieved as early warning systems?
  • What pesticides and timing have proven viable?
  • What other mitigation strategies are being investigated?
  • What is the role of regional bodies in the management of the pest


To raise awareness on the present impact of the pest and likely future trends, and mobilize action around co-ordination, information sharing and funding to optimize pest control.
For more information about fall armyworm and how CABI is supporting the fight against it, please visit

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