The meeting brings together ministerial-levell government representatives and experts from the government of Zambia, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Sygenta Foundation and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to Lusaka, Zambia.
Major private sector representatives, seed companies, farmers and policy makers from Angola, Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, will also attend the event.
Fall Armyworm is a dangerous trans-boundary pest with a high potential to continually spread due to its natural migratory capacity. Without appropriate action, it could cause 21-53 per cent of maize yield losses in 12 African countries within five years. The value of these losses is estimated at between US$2.48bn and US$6.19bn. Northern Africa and Madagascar are also at risk, said AfDB.
As part of its Technologies for African Agriculture Transformation (TAAT) agenda, AfDB established a Compact of Fall Armyworm to mobilize support from researchers and the public and private sector, to confront the menace. The compact seeks to identify new technologies to combat the pest and distribute them to smallholder farmers across the continent.
Participants will look at ways to deploy the most effective Fall Armyworm combatting technologies to tens of millions of smallholder farmers in the shortest possible time. One focus will be on the Syngenta Foundation’s seed treatment pesticide known as Fortenza Dou, considered effective against Fall Armyworm.