KAFACI inaugurates project team to tackle Armyworm

IN a bid to properly manage the effect of spodoptera frugiperda otherwise known as fall armyworm, a pest that destroys the proper growth of maize, the Korea Africa Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (KAFACI) has inaugurated an integrated management of fall armyworm for sustainable food security in Africa.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, shortly after the inauguration and training workshop which held at NACGRAB Conference Hall, National Cereal Research Institute, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Focal Person, KAFACI Nigeria, Dr Marcus Ogunbiyi, hinted that KAFACI is an intergovernmental organisation between South Korea and African countries currently in 19 African countries.

“The major aim of the programme is to exchange ideas in order to improve agriculture in Africa. Today we are inaugurating the project team for the fall and army worm project.

“Nigeria stands to gain a lot by improving the agricultural sector but this particular programme is for how to combat the pest so that there will be increase in maize production in Nigeria.”

While giving a summary of his paper, titled: “Pest risk analysis and IPM of invasive alien pest with refence to fall armyworm”, the Keynote Speaker, Professor Adebayo Omoloye, of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ibadan, stated that invasive species are those species that come from other places.

“They got to this place and discovered that the environment is suitable for them and all the crops everything that they can live on exist here. We are particularly used to a particular type of armyworm. Unfortunately for some reasons, they are not popular anymore . But another variant and entirely new specie which is this new one, called armyworm, it has been around in a little way but we did not know it could be that devastating.”

Professor Omoloye, submitted that the people of Nigeria should be grateful to KAFACI for coming up with the initiative targeted at bringing succour to maize farmers who have been experiencing series of difficulties due to the effect of armyworm.

Also speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, Director, National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, Ibadan, Dr Sunday Ezekiel Aladele, said: ”We are very lucky to be given the opportunity to be supported by the Korean government through KAFACI to develop an improved food productivity in sub-saharan Africa, particularly Nigeria.”

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