CE SAIN Lecture Series on March 04, 2019
March 04, 2019: The Center of Excellence on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition (CE SAIN) of Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) facilitated a lecture series on “Fall Armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda in Asia and its management with emphasis on biological control” presented by Dr. Muni Muniappan, Director, IPM Innovation Lab, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Dr. Muni Muniappan currently serves as the director of the IPM Innovation Lab. This is a position he has held since 2006. He is a specialist in tropical economic entomology, biological control of insect pests and weeds, and integrated pest management. He has made considerable contributions in the development of crop-specific IPM techniques, fostering partnerships with private sector organizations, encouraging scaling up through the dissemination of information, and promoting partnerships as a means of capacity building. Muniappan has also served in management positions for international scientific bodies and conducted international workshops in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, U.S.A. and Central America. Muniappan has co-written and edited three textbooks: Biological Control of Tropical Weeds Using Arthropods (2009), published by Cambridge University Press, Arthropod Pests of Horticultural Crops in Tropical Asia (2012), by CABI Publications, and Integrated Pest Management of Tropical Vegetable Crops (2016) by Springer. Moreover, while managing the IPM Innovation Lab, Muniappan has made time to mentor dozens of young scientists in developing countries, and to continue his own research—making discoveries about invasive pests and publishing his findings. This research has made him a well-regarded scientist of international stature, called on by governments around the world and international agencies to consult on invasive pests. (Click here for slide presentation)
The lecture shared about Fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda is a native of Central and South America. It was accidentally introduced to Nigeria, Africa in 2016 and since then it has spread all over the Sub-Saharan African countries. In 2018, it was found in Karnataka State of India and since then it has spread to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Southern China. It is a serious devastating pest of corn but it also attacks several crops like sorghum, rice, groundnut, cotton, vegetables and others. Since it is already in Thailand, we think it will be in Cambodia before the end of this year. The IPM Innovation Lab has been involved in developing management technologies of this pest with an emphasis on biological control in the Eastern African countries, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. In addition, it conducted the Fall Armyworm awareness workshop in Nepal in November 2018. Now we like to recommend that the Cambodian Government should set up a task force to get prepared to tackle this pest when it reaches Cambodia.