FAO and African Union join efforts towards Sustainable Management of Fall Armyworm in Africa and the event took place on October 13, 2017 at Accra. A technical cooperation agreement on a coordinated management of the Fall of Armyworm in Africa was signed Bukar Tijani ( FAO ) and Sacko Josefa Leonel Correa ( AUC ).
FAO and African Union Commission (AUC), through the signing, laid the foundation for the implementation of a program aiming at responding to priority areas of combating the Fall Armyworm. These include sensitization and awareness raising, securing buy-in from policy makers, and mobilization of partnerships and resources in support of effective response.
The proposed two year project under the title “Support to AU-DREA (Rural Development and Agriculture department) in reinforcement of plant health governance in Africa through coordinated management of Fall Armyworm” will help increase productivity of crops and incomes of farmers through improving the capacity of stakeholders, ensuring rapid pest identification, timely evidence based decision on appropriate management approaches, and minimal use of pesticides.
Fall Armyworm poses a serious threat to the achievement of goals that African countries have committed under the Malabo Declaration/CAADP and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs), and therefore warrants a coordinated response for effective action and delivery.
At the agreement signing ceremony, Bukar Tijani, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa stated “FAO stands with the African Union Commission in providing support in implementing the identified priority actions to battle the Fall Armyworm, a threat to food security to Africa.”
FAO and AUC have identified the urgent need to develop a well-coordinated early warning and rapid response system at national and regional levels to address technical capacity gaps. On her part, Mrs. Sacko Josefa Leonel Correa, AUC Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture highlighted the need for coordinated actions with FAO and key partners to combat the impacts of the Fall Armyworm.
FAO and AUC collaboration on Fall Armyworm (FAW)
FAO and AUC have taken bold steps towards responding to the negative effects of the Fall Armyworm through raising awareness among the political leadership on the state of Fall Armyworm infestation in Africa.
A side event with relevant partners was organised on the margins of the Conference of AU Specialised Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (STC), to raise awareness and enhance advocacy on the impact of FAW, review management strategies, and to mobilize partners around the issue. At this event, FAO has urged African Ministers to step up efforts in agriculture to end hunger in Africa and presented the “Framework for Sustainable Management of Fall Armyworm in Africa” for evaluation.
The recommendations of the Committee would be presented to the Executive Council of the Union during the January 2018 Summit for consideration and presentation to the African Union Assembly. On the technical part, FAO, through its Africa regional and subregional offices, has partnered with AUC to develop a region-wide coping strategy.
In addition, in August, 2017- a joint media briefing has been held by FAO and AUC to sensitize member states and the media on the impacts of the Fall Armyworm on smallholders. FAO, in collaboration with partners will continue to assist AUC and the member countries in Africa, farmers’ organizations and individual farmers to sustainably manage the Fall Armyworm, before the worm becomes a perpetual threat to African farmers.