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Tanzania: Bio-rational program successfully manages fall armyworm

Russell IPM's bio-rational program proved to manage Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) in Tanzania successfully — reducing damage in winter maize to less than 5% while traditional pesticides managed to limit the damage to 25-30% only. This will provide a glimmer of hope for African farmers in the fight for their livelihood against this devastating and difficult to control pest.

Fresh research findings published by TPRI — Arusha — Tanzania have conclusively shown that a bio-rational program developed by Russell IPM has outperformed traditional pesticides in the combat of Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda). The research was conducted in three regions in Tanzania in winter maize crops (June-September).

Biotrine, Antario and Recharge are the key elements of the programme which provides effectivity, as well as sustainability. In addition, the produce following the programme is virtually pesticide residue-free maize. The programme is the result of years of development by Russell IPM’s research and development team in collaboration with a number of Agricultural Research organizations.

Recent reports from Cameroon came out in line with the Tanzania results confirming that the same sustainable and bio-rational solution can successfully outperform traditional pesticides.

Late last year, Russell IPM conducted research to establish the best pheromone lure formulation to attract fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda). In addition to developing an optimum pheromone formulation and rolling out the most successful monitoring system for the pest, it also helped to identify the genotype of the current pest outbreak and its source. Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) belonging to the order Lepidoptera; Noctuidae family, is an alien, invasive moth insect pest native to the tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas. In 2016 it was detected in African countries: Nigeria, Sao Tomé, Benin and Togo. Its presence has also been confirmed in Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Kenya, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are preliminary reports of the pest’s sightings in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Ethiopia and South Sudan. 

Due to the complex nature of fall armyworm infestations, fast-spreading presence, high reproductive capacity and wide host range, it is most likely that the pest will soon be able to colonize most African countries and pose a greater still impact to these countries' food security and livelihoods.

Russell IPM is a British company based in north Wales engaged in the production of semio-chemical and other bio-rational solutions for agriculture and horticulture worldwide. The company conducts a number of collaborative research programmes to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to agricultural challenges worldwide. Over the past ten years, Russell IPM was credited with the development of several highly successful programmes to monitor and manage the tomato pest Tuta absoluta.

“We are very encouraged by the results showing for the first time that a bio-rational program can outperform traditional pesticide use. This provides a sustainable solution to a complex problem threatening food security across Africa", says Dr. Nayem Hassan, head of research and development at Russell IPM.

For more information:
Russell IPM
Unit 45 First Avenue
Deeside Industrial Park
Deeside, Flintshire, CH5 2NU
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1244 281 333
Fax: +44 1244 281 878
[email protected]
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