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New fall armyworm portal launched to help facilitate greater research collaboration

Portal will encourage rapid, iterative experimentation and global teamwork to address spread and impact of the invasive crop pest.

A fall armyworm eats a maize leaf. (Photo: CABI)

A new Fall Armyworm Research Collaboration Portal has been launched to facilitate global research collaboration to help fight the devastating crop pest fall armyworm.

Developed by CABI in partnership with leading researchers and institutions, the portal is a free-to-access platform that enables the sharing of research data, insights and outputs, and includes a range of key features such as posting research updates, identifying collaborators, and posting questions to the community.

The Research Collaboration Portal is the official platform for the¬†Fall Armyworm R4D International Consortium. B. M. Prasanna, Director of CIMMYT‚Äôs Global Maize Program and the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE) and co-chair of the portal steering committee commented, ‚ÄúThe fall armyworm research collaboration portal will serve as an effective platform for communicating on research actions of the Fall Armyworm R4D International Consortium, led by CIMMYT and IITA. We encourage all the members of the Fall Armyworm R4D International Consortium to actively contribute to the portal.‚ÄĚ

Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is an invasive insect pest that feeds on more than 80 plant species, causing major damage to maize, rice, sorghum, sugarcane but also other vegetable crops and cotton.

The pest is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas. However, in 2016 it was reported for the first time in Africa, where it is causing significant damage to maize crops and has great potential for further spread and economic damage.

Fall armyworm has since spread to the Near East and Asia and, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), it will likely soon be present in southern Europe. The FAO says that once fall armyworm is a resident pest in a country, it is there to stay and farmers need significant support to manage it sustainably in their cropping systems through integrated pest management activities.

The Fall Armyworm Research Collaboration Portal, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of the Netherlands under the Action on Invasives program, will also encourage researchers to post preprints of research articles to the new agriRxiv, which offers researchers and students access to preprints across agriculture and allied sciences.

The portal will help reduce the duplication of research into fall armyworm prevention and management, provide a route for the rapid sharing of results and highlight opportunities for collaboration ‚Äď encouraging rapid, iterative experimentation and global teamwork to address the spread and impact of fall armyworm.

Visit the Fall Armyworm Research Collaboration Portal.

CABI’s Fall Armyworm Portal¬†contains a selection of news, research, practical extension materials, videos and other resources on fall armyworm.

This story was first published by CABI: 
CABI launches new portal to help facilitate greater collaboration on fall armyworm research