Full Length Research Paper
Spodoptera frugiperda, the fall armyworm (FAW), has become a major pest of maize since its appearance in Burkina Faso in 2017 requiring appropriate emergency response. A survey was conducted with 161 maize farmers from 9 regions and 48 villages in the Sudano-Sahelian and Sudanese agro-climatic zones, the main maize-growing areas in Burkina Faso to collect their perceptions. For this purpose, a questionnaire designed on the Open Data Kit (ODK) mobile platform was administered to them individually. 96% of the farmers considered FAW the main current biotic constraint to maize cultivation. Most of them (98%) declared they could recognize the pest even though 60% had not received any training on the pest identification. Production losses caused by FAW range from 25 to 50% each year for 91% of the respondents. More farmers (90%) systematically use chemicals, notably Emacot 50WG (Emamectin benzoate 50 g/kg) against the pest. Unfortunately, 96% of users do not take any appropriate personal protective measures, while more than half (59%) have experienced adverse health effects. These results contribute to the implementation of a better FAW control strategy. It is also recommended that an effective national surveillance and early warning system be set up to better manage other such pests.
Key words: Spodoptera frugiperda, perception survey, maize farmers, pest control, chemicals, health, environmental risks.
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