By Sifa Lubasi
Tanzania’s TPHPA has announced its successful control of the fall armyworm, which has saved over 1,056.3 tons of cereal crops. The agency’s Acting Director-General, Professor Joseph Ndunguru, revealed that the fall armyworm control was carried out in several regions of the country, including Tabora, Kigoma, Geita, Shinyanga, Mwanza, Mbeya, Pwani, Arusha, Manyara, and Kilimanjaro.
To control the pests, special aircraft from the Food and Agriculture Organization and other organizations were used to spray pesticides. Additionally, TPHPA, in collaboration with the International Red Locust Control Organization for Central and Southern Africa (IRLCO-CSA), monitored the breeding grounds of the red locusts and sprayed 1,000 hectares with fenitrothion.
TPHPA has also distributed 81,563 liters of Profenofos and 561 liters of Chlorpyrifos and Cypermethrin across 57 districts in Tanzania to control the fall armyworms. For tuta absoluta, a pest that attacks tomato plants, TPHPA distributed 36,700 pheromone traps and trained 2,800 farmers and agricultural extension officers.
Prof. Ndunguru emphasized TPHPA’s commitment to protect Tanzania’s agriculture from pests and diseases that threaten food security and farmers’ livelihoods. He called on farmers to cooperate with the agency to implement control measures and promptly report any suspected pest infestations.
The fall armyworm (FAW) is an invasive pest that is native to the Americas but has rapidly spread across the world in recent years, causing significant damage to crops and posing a serious threat to global food security. In Africa, the pest was first reported in Nigeria in 2016 and has since spread to several other countries, including Tanzania.
Tanzania, a country with a largely agricultural economy, has been severely affected by the fall armyworm. The pest attacks a wide range of crops, including maize, sorghum, millet, rice, and vegetables, causing yield losses of up to 40%. This has had a devastating impact on farmers’ livelihoods and food security in the country.
In response to the fall armyworm outbreak, the Tanzanian government established the Plant Health and Pesticides Authority (TPHPA) to regulate, coordinate, and promote plant health and phytosanitary measures in the country. The agency has been working tirelessly to control the spread of the pest and protect crops from damage.
The TPHPA has adopted an integrated pest management approach, including pesticide use, biological control, cultural practices, and farmer education. The agency has collaborated with various organizations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Red Locust Control Organization for Central and Southern Africa (IRLCO-CSA), to enhance its capacity to monitor and control pest.
Despite the challenges posed by the fall armyworm, the TPHPA’s efforts have resulted in significant progress in controlling the pest in several regions of Tanzania. The agency continues working with farmers and other stakeholders to implement effective pest management practices and safeguard the country’s agricultural sector from the fall armyworm threat.
The TPHPA is a government agency with a mission to protect Tanzania’s agriculture and natural resources from the risks posed by pests, diseases, and harmful organisms. It operates under the Ministry of Agriculture and regulates, coordinates, and promotes plant health and phytosanitary measures in Tanzania.