Training Workshop on Biological Control of the Fall Armyworm (FAW) in Africa and Asia: Scouting for Parasitoids, Mass Rearing of Egg Parasitoids, and Augmentative Release Techniques


International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in collaboration with University of Maradi, Niger and Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN)

With the support of:

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management

CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC)

Date: July 22-26, 2019

Venue: ICRISAT, Niamey, Niger 


The purpose of this workshop is to learn and practice field collection of natural enemies of the FAW, as well as mass rearing and releases of indigenous egg parasitoids for biological control of the fall armyworm in Africa. The training includes both theoretical, lab, and field practices.


The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (JE Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), is a pest native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas and was recorded for the first time in Nigeria in 2016. Since then it has spread throughout sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), wreaking havoc on maize. In 2017, according to CABI, early estimates reported yield losses of 8.3 m to 20.6 m tons of maize (worth US $2,481m – US $6,187m), in just 12 maize producing countries. FAW also feeds on many other plants and has been recorded on sorghum and millet in some areas of SSA. Given the importance of maize, sorghum, and millet in SSA, the FAW threatens the food security of millions of people in the region.

The emergency response to FAW invasion relied on locally available materials such as ash, sand, and botanical extracts, hand picking by the farmers, and governments procuring synthetic pesticides and distributing them to farmers at subsidized rates. Some of the pesticides are highly toxic, which can be harmful to the environment. To mitigate the risk of highly hazardous and broad-spectrum chemicals, fast track registration of biorationals is emerging in many African countries. Therefore, it is important to develop, promote, and deploy proven and sustainable integrated pest management (IPM) technologies against FAW. Habitat management practices through the use of a companion cropping system and the push-pull technology seems promising.

In the Americas, FAW management varies from the use of chemical pesticides, GMOs, and augmentative biological control (in Central and South America). Biological control can offer an economically and environmental friendly alternative and contribute to an IPM approach. Consequently, surveys of FAW natural enemies were conducted in maize and sorghum fields in different locations in Niger in 2017 and 2018. The parasitoids encountered included Braconidae, Ichneumonidae and Tachinidae fly parasitizing larvae of the fall armyworm. In addition, two egg parasitoids, Trichogramma sp. and Telenomus remus Nixon (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae), were also encountered . Interestingly T. remus is the main egg parasitoid of S. frugiperda in the Americas where it is also used in augmentative biological control programmes.

Information on the occurrence of indigenous natural enemies has a paramount importance in designing biological control of FAW either through conservation of native natural enemies or augmentative release.

The training is mainly technical and is designed for Francophone countries but could also accommodate a couple of English speaking participants.


Day 1 (theoretic/lecture):

  • Reports on status and control of FAW from different participating countries
  • General information on FAW bio-ecology
  • General information on biological control (conservation, classical, augmentative/inundative)
  • Case study of successful augmentative biological control of the millet head miner in the Sahel
  • Update on FAW natural enemies encountered in Africa
  • Mass production of Trichogramma and Telenomus
  • Best laboratory practices for parasitoid mass rearing

Day 2 and Day 3:

Participants will be split in small groups to practice the following:

  • Preparation of FAW artificial diet
  • Mass production of FAW using artificial and natural diets
  • Mass rearing of Corcyra cephalonica
  • Mass production of Trichogramma using Corcyra eggs
  • Mass production of Telenomus using FAW eggs
  • Preparation of parasitoid tricho-cards for field releases
  • Mass rearing of Habrobracon hebetor, a polyphagous larval parasitoid

Day 4 and Day 5:

  • Practice scouting for eggs and larvae parasitoids of FAW (sorghum and maize planted for the purpose on ICRISAT Sadore campus)
  • Practice field release of eggs parasitoids
  • Revisit lab practices

Application Requirements

This training is technical and is designed for national researchers, extension agents and technicians to gain practical hands-on experiences in field collection, lab mass rearing, and mass release of indigenous egg parasitoids of the FAW. Participants will also be given case studies of successful augmentative biological control of the millet head miner in the Sahel.

General Information

Arrival and Departure

  • Arrival date: July 21th
  • Opening date: July 22th
  • Closing date: July 26th
  • Departure date: July 27th

The course will be held at the ICRISAT Sadore Research Station, situated 40 km South of Niamey, Niger. Participants will be accommodated at the ICRISAT Training and visiting center (TVC) in Niamey.

Participants must arrive at the ICRISAT TVC on the arrival date, and leave on the departure date.

The training fees cover the cost of the training program including lectures and field visits, accommodation and lunch, transport to the research station, and transfers to and from the airport. Airfares and daily allowance are not included. 

Training Fees: US$ 1100 


The last date for the submission of application is 30.06.2019

Applications should be sent to with a copy to


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