FAO recently launched a mobile application to enable farmers, agricultural workers and other partners at the frontline of the fight against Fall Armyworm in Africa to identify, report the level of infestation, and map the spread of this destructive insect, as well as to describe its natural enemies and the measures that are most effective in managing it.
The Fall Armyworm Monitoring and Early Warning System (FAMEWS) mobile app provides valuable insights on how the insect changes over time and space to improve knowledge of its behavior in Africa – in a new context – and guide the best response.
To download the app, click here and install the APK file.
“The app will help us build our collective knowledge of Fall Armyworm in Africa, and connect all the dots – from how and where it spreads to what makes it weaker and less damaging,” said Keith Cressman, FAO Senior Agricultural Officer who led the development of the app together with the UN agency’s partners.
“The app is useful on two fronts: for farmers and agricultural workers in the direct management of their crops to prevent further infestations and reduce damage; and for all actors involved in managing Fall Armyworm in Africa, by providing vital analysis on risks, spread, and management,” said Cressman.
Here are things you need to know about the app:
- The app is to be used every time fields are checked (scouting) and pheromone traps are counted for Fall Armyworm (FAW), Africa Armyworm (AAW) and Stem Borer.
- The primary target user is the farmer, supplemented by community focal persons, extension agents, and plant protection officers when the farmer does not have a smartphone.
- Relying solely on extension agents or plant protection officers may not give the desired coverage as they are unlikely to be able to visit all farms on a regular and timely basis.
- The app has three sections: General information, Field scouting, and Pheromone Traps
- Some information is required (indicated by a red asterisk) that must be entered before continuing.
- The app is multilingual – initially English and French.
- The app should be used in conjunction with the FAO Guidance Notes on Scouting and Trapping.
- Data can be transmitted immediately or stored and sent once a connection becomes available.
- The app allows users to monitor FAW, AAW and Stem Borer.
- Data from the app provides farmers, communities, and countries with early warning and advice on changes in FAW population levels and distribution in order to protect their crops.
- The app is very intuitive and easy to use – it should take about 10 minutes to learn.