Trapping adult males of the fall armyworm by female sex pheromone traps to limit the development of this insect pest

The fall armyworm (Spodoptera Frugiperda) is a pest that attacks more than 80 species of cultivated plants, causing damages to cereals of high economic importance such as maize, rice, sorghum. They also attack garden’s crops and cotton. The fall armyworm is native of the tropical and subtropical regions of America and has been spread out in more than 30 African countries, since 2016 where it was first detected in Africa. It has several generations per year and the nocturnal moth or night butterfly that represents its adult state can fly up to 100km per night.

According to a publication of the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) in September 2017, the fall armyworm can cause important losses of 8.3 to 20.6 million tons per year, in only 12 African corn producers countries which represent a proportion of 21 to 53% of the annual maize production of these countries, for an estimated loss value of US $2.48 and 6.19 billion. The fall armyworm is seriously threatening the food security of sub-Saharan African countries that live predominantly of maize. Nowadays, no pesticides have been found to be effective in fighting against it. Unfortunately, it continues to spread and create a large loss on crops every year.

My innovation is to control the reproduction and propagation of the fall armyworm by trapping adult males. Adult males will be attracted by the pheromones of the females which will be synthesized and put into traps. The capture of adult males will limit mating so that the number of spawning in the female will be reduced and thus reduce the population of the fall armyworm.

How do I want to do it?

Setting up the traps of adult males will necessitate:

  • the synthetization of the sexual pheromone of the female.
  • The sexual pheromone of Spodoptera Frugiperda contains (z)-9-Tetradecenyle (Z-9-14: OAca) acetate, which can be chemically synthesized in the laboratory with the same effects on the adult male as the natural one.
  • Adult males will be attracted by this pheromone, trapped then destroyed.
  • This reproduction disturbance will cause the adult females who live about only 14 days to die without leaving progenies.
  • Repeating the operation several times during the year will lead towards the disappearance of the fall armyworm.

Why I am passionate about the idea I am proposing?

I am passionate about the innovation I propose because the reduction of this pest will allow the populations of affected countries in Africa to have fewer agricultural losses and therefore ensure their food security and have more financial income, thus reduce poverty. Originally from sub-Saharan Africa which is the most affected part of Africa, I am happy to impact positively my community by providing a sustainable solution for the protection of their crops.

Léa Rosine Djoussi Nde, Cameroon

29 comments

  1. This is a very important project in my view; fairly straightforward biological science with enormous potential benefits for increasing food security in cereal-based cropping systems of sub-Saharan Africa.

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  2. This is good bio control. Free of POP pesticides which destroy many insecta ecological niches. So by biocontrol we reduce huge money for pesticides and preserve the environment. This is a benefit for science and for the peasants

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  3. Vous venez, par cette innovation, révolutionner la lutte contre les chenilles, qui, de plus en plus restent une menacé constant et permanente dans le secteur de l’agriculture en Afrique centrale en général et au Cameroun en particulier, plus précisément dans la partie ouest du Cameroun où les cultures marechaires et bien d’autres céréales, peuvent à travers cette innovation, profiter au maximum pour une meilleure rentabilité et par conséquent réduire la pauvreté. J’espère une bonne vulgarisation pour toucher davantage la population. Toutes mes félicitations. Et la question que je vais vous poser est celle de savoir : pouvez vous faire une communication au Département de votre faculté lors d’un colloque pour faire profiter un maximum des universitaires ?

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  4. the main purpose of this project is its innovation and positive impact. Crop production and productivity is largely threatened by pests, insects and diseases. For once a project is meant to focus on this issue and to bring a good-real solution. I am sure its realization will be a good relief for formers.

    L’objctif principal de ce projet, c’est son but innovatif et impact positif.La production agricole et la productivité des cultures des plantes sont vraiment menacées par les nuisibles, insectes et maladies. Pour une fois, un project comme celui-ci va vraiment poser ce probleme en apportant une grande solution. Sa realisation serait un tres grand soulagement pour producteurs.

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  5. Très bonne initiative ce projet devrait être implementé cela révolutionnera le secteur de l’agriculture en Afrique et plus particulièrement au Cameroun .Bravo Rosine Lea

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  6. Très bonne initiative. Les hormones synthétiques ne vont pas avoir un prix élevé à la production? Et la distribution seras t’elle possible dans tous les villages agricoles?

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  7. Tres Belle exposition Mlle par rapport a ces bestioles qui detruisent Les cultures dans notre pays et qui freinent d’autre part l’economie.Ma preoccupation est la suivante: comment pouvez-vous proceder afin que la population Des zones urbaines puissent profiter d cette innovation?. merci

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