Fall armyworm survey marks CIMMYT’s first research project in Laos
A major farmer survey is gathering data to understand how smallholders in Laos are responding to fall armyworm invasion and develop agroecological management options to control its spread.
The study, led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in partnership with the Lao Farmer Network (LFN) and the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI), is CIMMYT’s first official research initiative in the country.
Farmer surveys are being conducted in some of the country’s key maize farming areas, recording attempts to manage the pest and laying the groundwork to raise awareness on sustainable best-bet agroecological strategies that promote a healthy system approach to maize farming, says Horst Weyerhaeuser, a scientific program consultant working with CIMMYT.
“Currently, researchers, policy makers and extension officers possess little information on fall armyworm pest management and control in Laos,” he explains. “The survey is working to build a knowledge-base.”