This article was originally published in March 2018.
Fall armyworm infestations in large portions of southern and sub-Saharan Africa are threatening the food supply of over 200 million people. While indigenous to North and south America, in January 2016, the species was discovered for the first time in Nigeria.
Since then the fall armyworm has spread to 28 African countries according to a report released last fall. An additional nine countries have suspected infestations and are either conducting studies or waiting official confirmation.
Unfortunately for those in the impacted regions, regulations limiting the use of genetically modified crops prevent farmers from accessing the best technology available for pest management. The problem is not going away and the pests are expected to spread throughout the rest of sub-Saharan Africa and could potentially reach northern Africa and Madagascar.