Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) in partnership with the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), have launched a campaign to help maize growers acquire basic knowledge on how to identify, monitor and manage an invasive pest known as Fall Armyworms.
Throughout the campaign launched on 5 June 2019 in Muhanga District at least 2802 farmers’ promoters, Socio economic development officers at cell level and sector agronomists will be equipped with basic knowledge on steps and processes to identify, monitor and manage Fall Armyworms using traps.
This is done in line with helping farmers to have a good harvest of hybrid maize varieties that are developed locally, according to Leon Hakizamungu, the-in charge of controlling crop pests and diseases at Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB).
“Rwanda Agriculture Board is mandated to provide farmers with seeds. Today a hybrid maize variety that has been produced locally was given to farmers. For it give a good harvest, they have to use different fertilizers bearing in mind that Fall Army-worms is there”, he said.
“The campaign’s objective is to equip farmers’ promoters with skills to deal with Fall Armyworms which constitute the major threat to maize production. We give them pheromone lures and traps by which they realize that the worm is there, so, they start fighting it early”, he added.
Emmanuel Sibomana, a maize grower in Rugeramigozi marshland in Nyamabuye Sector of Muhanga District, is among farmers who were trained and provided with Fall Armyworm traps and used it in the last agricultural season.
He said the trainings are useful in terms of informing farmers on how to manage their maize plantations.
“After having received these traps, we are able to take early measure to fight the worm”, said another farmer, Jacqueline Uwizeyemariya.
These traps catch male Fall Armyworms. They will be installed in every cell of the Districts where the campaign will be conducted, according to Rwanda Agriculture Board.
The campaign targets at least 2 802 farmer promoters, Socio economic development officers at cell level and sector agronomists from six districts namely; Nyagatare, Kayonza, Muhanga, Rwamagana, Nyanza and Nyamagabe.