Fall armyworm is an insect indigenous to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas. The caterpillar feeds 80 up to 100 plants of different species, including maize, sorghum, millet rice, wheat, sugarcane, vegetable crops, cotton and etc. The infestation can cause significant yield losses if not used appropriate integrated management. The adult female moth can fly up to 100 km per night; the lifecycle is complete metamorphoses where the eggs are laid overnight on the leaves of the crop, especially underside of the leaves and it glued as clusters of 100-300 eggs in some areas, 1000 eggs per female were reported.
Fall armyworm was first observed in Western and Central Africa in early 2016 (Benin, Nigeria) .The first time that have been seen fall armyworm in Somalia was the end of 2017. The major infestation was seen in maize special south and North West Somali.
The coming spring season, all maize cultivators are worrying how the situation shall be, due to the lack of awareness and the appropriate method for fall armyworm management.
But Somali Natural Resource Research Centre (SONRREC) started awareness on this insect by conducting training and workshops toward it’s’ risk at the universities. The centre has made assessment at Afgoye zone where the small farmers were complaining about the caterpillars’ infestation.