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Eleven Asian Countries Reach Consensus on Armyworm Prevention and Control

DATE:2019-11-17       SOURCE:MARA
 

 

 

China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently jointly convened an international symposium in Kunming, Yunnan Province on monitoring and control of the fall armyworm (FAW) in Asia. The goal of the meeting was to jointly promote sustainable management of the pest. More than 60 agricultural officials and experts from FAO and 11 Asian countries attended the meeting. Countries represented were: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. 

  

Attendees exchanged information on Asian and global progress in FAW research, prevention and control. They also shared China’s experience in FAW monitoring and control. Furthermore, they analyzed the current situation and future expectations regarding FAW as well as associated challenges. The attendees also discussed measures for dealing with FAW, and specified work priorities for the near future. 

 

  

  

  

Participants pointed out that since 2018, the worms have been steadily moving northward and southward in Asia, becoming more of a serious presence. In fact, FAW has now spread to 16 Asian countries. However, FAW’s pattern of infestation is unclear, creating a problem for these countries. Likewise, early monitoring of FAW is difficult, farmers have insufficient technical experience related to FAW, and the worm lacks natural enemies in these areas. All these factors create challenges for the control of FAW.  

  

After a robust and wide-ranging discussion among all parties, representatives of the 11 attending countries reached a consensus on promoting control of FAW in Asia. They unanimously adopted the Asian Collaborative Initiative for the Sustainable Management of the Fall Armyworm, which has five main objectives. They are: First, carry out regional joint monitoring. Asian countries, especially neighboring countries, should strengthen joint monitoring of FAW, promote the use of information monitoring tools such as the FAW Monitoring & Early Warning System (FAMEWS), and in a timely and effective way implement pest warning. Second, establish an information exchange mechanism. Countries can share information on FAW infestation, prevention and control measures, and research results through FAMEWS, as well as the International Plant Protection Convention and other information exchange mechanisms. Third, strengthen regional technical exchange. Countries can exchange their experience about FAW monitoring and continuous management, and improve FAW prevention and control technology in the region, through annual seminars, technical training on comprehensive prevention, exchange of expert groups and other means. Fourth, promote regional sustainable management. All countries have agreed to strengthen comprehensive control of FAW and take priority measures, such as biological control and protection along with utilization of natural enemies, in order to reduce the use and risk of pesticides. Finally, strengthen policy and financial support. In addition, call on governments and the FAO to actively mobilize relevant resources in order to boost prevention and control activities and provide more support and education for farmers. 

  

The attendees agreed to establish the Asia Regional Fall Armyworm Working Group under the Asia-Pacific Plant Protection Commission (APPPC). Each country will identify 1-2 liaison personnel. China, as the first rotating presidency, will set up a secretariat to coordinate relevant work. 

  

Reports indicate that Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos and other countries have suffered from severe corn damage this year. According to incomplete statistics, the affected area comprises about 2 million hectares, with corn production falling by more than 10% in some areas. In China, FAW has infested 1.1 million hectares. However, due to the attention of government bodies at all levels and effective monitoring and control measures by MARA, the reduction in yield in southern corn producing areas has been limited to under 5%. Moreover, no loss was found in the main corn producing areas of the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain. In fact, the area was able to control pests and have a bumper harvest, thus achieving favorable results and accumulating valuable experience. FAO officials and representatives of various countries gave China’s achievement high marks. 

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