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Eastern Rwanda

Multi-channel approach benefits farmers’ fight against fall armyworm

A multi-channel approach tis reaping greater benefits for smallholder farmers fighting the fall armyworm pest in Eastern Rwanda. New CABI-led research, published in the journal Food and Energy Security and led by Dr Justice Tambo, surveyed 720 smallholder and found maize yield increases between 10% to 34% depending on the channel.

Dr Tambo and the team found that exposure to a combined mass extension campaign consisting of plant health rallies, radio dramas and SMS all contributed to better identification of fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) as well as more environmentally-friendly ways of managing the pest.

The findings suggest that while there is a growing popularity in the use of digital extension approaches to deliver timely information to farmers in a cost-effective manner, much greater gains can be achieved if they are combined with other low-cost face-to-face extension methods, such as plant health rallies.


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