Focus on the Fall Armyworm Monitoring and Early Warning System (FAMEWS)

The Fall Armyworm Monitoring and Early Warning System (FAMEWS) is a monitoring and education tool that feeds several platforms that are used to make decisions about Fall Armyworm (FAW). Data are inputted via an app for smartphones, which provide exact locations of the source of the information. Data can be collected on FAW prevalence in fields (infested crop plants) or from pheromone traps that attract adult moths.

Data collection is done using FAO’s FAW Guidance Notes and is available in five languages. The app also provides basic background information on FAW and will soon incorporate an Artificially Intelligent Assistant who will provide advice in several languages. Data can be transmitted immediately from the field via telephone or can be saved to the phone and uploaded later when a connection is available. The data go to a national platform, where National Focal Points review and approve the data.

Then the data flow to a global platform, where decision makers can review the data to set priorities and researchers can use the data to better understand the FAW’s ecology in Africa, permitting larger-scale and longer-term decision-making. The application is open to use by all authorized users and the data will be freely available, permitting use by farmers, associations, extensionists, government officials and donors. The data will also be used as the basis of the FAWRisk model, which will examine the risk to food insecurity due to FAW, as well as other models and simulations.

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