Corn infected by the FAW in the village of Marashda in Upper Egypt’s Qena- Press photo
CAIRO - 28 June 2020: The destructive Fall Armyworm (FAW) has infected a corn field in the village of Marashda in Upper Egypt’s Qena, looming an agricultural catastrophe, said Egyptian head of the Syndicate of the Farmers Hussein Abdel-Rahman in a statement.
“The fall armyworms are no less dangerous than the [novel] coronavirus pandemic, as it destroys more than 80 types of agricultural crops in Egypt, and its spread now amid the high temperature increases this risk and threatens food security for all Egyptians,” he added in a statement on Saturday.
"The life cycle of this worm does not exceed 30 days in the summer, compared to 90 days in the winter," he clarified, calling upon the Ministry of Agriculture to control this infestation and to not underestimate the risks.
Video shows how the FAW destroyed the crop
In May 2019, the Agricultural Pesticide Committee (APC) of the Ministry of Agriculture reported the first case of FAW presence in a maize field in a village in Kom Ombo city of Aswan governorate, Upper Egypt.
According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) facts, the fall armyworm landed in African via a ship or a plane in 2016, invading more than 40 African countries since then. Its large destructive impact could push 300 million people into hunger in Africa.
In April 2019, FAO and the Egyptian government held a workshop to train framers how to monitor and deal with the FAW. The workshop covered farmers from Upper Egypt governorates, namely Aswan, Luxor, Qena, Assiut, Sohag, Menia, Beni Suef and Fayoum.