An exclusive website on Fall Armyworm to help farmers fight the pest

The website www.fallarmyworm.org.in has been developed by South Asia Biotechnology Centre (SABC), New Delhi and supported by the agricultural sciences company FMC Corporation

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New Delhi: The Minster of State for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Mr Parshottam Rupala dedicated an exclusive user and farmers’ friendly website on fall armyworm on the auspicious occasion of Shravan Amavas on 1st August 2019 at New Delhi.

The website www.fallarmyworm.org.in has been developed by South Asia Biotechnology Centre (SABC), New Delhi and supported by the agricultural sciences company FMC Corporation. Dr Sain Dass, former director of ICAR-IIMR, Dr Bhagirath Choudhary, Director of South Asia Biotechnology Centre, Mr Raju Kapoor Director – Public and Industry Affairs, FMC Corporation and Mr Binod Anand, Secretary General of CNRI were present during the launch of website (attached photos).

Fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda is an invasive pest that has been a cause of concern for maize farmers in all maize growing areas of India. This website on fall armyworm supports farmers in successful curbing of FAW in India through knowledge empowerment. Minister, Mr Rupala also released Gujarati version of four fall armyworm posters including “FAW life cycle”, “FAW IPM Triangle”, “Alert Farmer is SAFFAL Farmer” and “Tips for Farmers” for the benefits of Gujarati farmers who grow maize on 600,000 hectares in Dahod, Godhara, Sabarkantha, Banaskantha and Anand areas of Gujarat.

Dedicating the FAW website, Minister hailed the success of Project SAFFAL (Safeguarding Agriculture and Farmers against Fall Armyworm), which is conducting country-wide farmers’ awareness program on fall armyworm in major maize growing States of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat & Tamil Nadu.

In this Kharif season, project SAFFAL conducted large numbers of mega farmers’ awareness programs & mobilized grassroots extension & State Agriculture Department officials, researchers, RAVE students, DAESI retailers and NGO to help maize farmers deal with the devastating fall armyworm. Project SAFFAL has already distributed more than 30,000 posters on FAW in Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, Marathi, Kannada, Telugu and Tamil in the respective states for better awareness among farmers. In order to reduce cost of production, Project SAFFAL has educated farmers to install pheromone traps and distributed thousands of pheromone traps & lures to detect FAW at very early stage of infestation. Project SAFFAL has also educated farmers to wear personal protective equipment and distributed safety kits to smallholder maize farmers to reduce exposure and ensure personal safety. Testimonials of farmers’ awareness programs can be obtained from https://www.fallarmyworm.org.in/outreach-program.html

Focused on welfare of maize farmers and other extension functionaries, the website on FAW contains data on control strategies, alerts & advisories issued by various organizations, SAFFAL FAW help center, research resources, and information from international & national institutions. An interesting feature of the website is an interactive map showing the FAW experts’ network, providing the details of maize experts who can be reached for advice and guidance to control FAW all over India.

Project SAFFAL is executed by South Asia Biotechnology Centre and supported by FMC Corporation and implemented in collaboration with key stakeholders in maize value chain.