A new study published by researchers with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), says an integrated approach, including improved agronomic practices, is necessary in order to fight against the invasive caterpillar, fall armyworm
Researchers from the CIMMYT, set out investigations to understand the factors influencing fall armyworm damage and to quantify yield losses.
The study also examined damage in smallholder maize fields in two districts of eastern Zimbabwe.
“We estimated the yield losses due to fall armyworm damage at 11.57 percent in the study area. Extrapolated to the whole of Zimbabwe, this would amount to a loss of 200,000 tons of grain, or a value of more than $32 million using the average global price of maize of $163 per ton in 2018,” said Frederic Baudron, cropping systems agronomist at CIMMYT and main author of the study.
The fall armyworm is an insect-pest native to the Americas, that has caused significant damage to maize crops in sub-Saharan Africa since its arrival to the region in 2016.
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