Autumn plague of worms, a red light that must be dealt with

He fall armyworm Maize is one of the most dangerous plant pests in the world, feeding on more than 80 crops and affecting plant health in more than 70 countries, although there is a high risk that it could affect many more. On the fingers of one hand, you can count the regions where the autumn armor has not reached or its spread is limited.

Due to the favorable conditions in Southern Europe, the Southwest Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa, countries in these regions are at a very high risk of serious damage if FAW reaches their territory.

Many countries and regions of the world have already made it a priority detect and prevent pests autumn armadillo, because it reproduces at an incredible speed and because, once established, it is practically impossible to eradicate. Working to stop its spread has become an important issue for everyone.

Measures to avoid autumn infection with earthworms

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) has developed new guidelines on prevention, preparedness and intervention to limit the spread of powdery mildew worldwide.

  • Prevention: In the case of the fall armyworm, once it has arrived in a new territory, the only thing countries can do is control their presence and manage the damage that causes Countries should establish prevention and preparedness plans before the plague has yet arrived.
  • Risks: Fall armyworm causes yield losses worth $9.4 billion annually in Africa alone. Based on estimates from 12 African countries, it is estimated that 17.7 million tonnes of maize annually could be lost on the continent, potentially feeding tens of millions of people, if this pest is not prevented or properly managed.
  • The key is coordination: More than 180 countries around the world meet each year to adopt international plant health standards and determine the measures necessary to ensure that plants and crops entering the country do not contain quarantine pests. This measure is essential for the safe trading of plants and agri-food products and avoiding the introduction of pests with products, vehicles or other means.
  • Stop the scourge at the borders: Fall armyworm can be detected and identified without special equipment. Careful observation with a hand magnifier is enough to detect this pest, even in its earliest stages. Border inspectors should inspect the underside of leaves for the presence of eggs and use pheromone traps during inspections.
  • Know the risk well: It is necessary to develop communication strategies for pest risks and stakeholder awareness programmes, to help farmers, producers and the wider sector be prepared in the event of fall armyworm introductions.

Preventing the spread of earthworms and other harmful pests to new areas is a global task. By applying the guidelines from FAO and IPPC In terms of autumn jet prevention, preparedness and response, countries can work together to minimize food and livelihood losses and protect global plant health.

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