RIU - Research Into Use
Roof goes on facility as armyworm season marches closer...
1 November 2010

In September 2010 we featured the new armyworm bio-pesticide production facility being developed in Tanzania with support from RIU.

Andy Ward of RIU has just been back, he said:
"I was amazed by the progress that has been made with building of the armyworm facility over the last 6 months in Arusha. I saw the pictures on the website last month - but now I have seen the progress for myself.

Six months ago when I visited and we filmed the site it was just a field with a fence. There wasn't even an architect's drawing. Now it looks like it will be a fully functioning plant by December which can be in production in time for this season's armyworm outbreak. This is an amazing achievement for such a small company."
Eco-Agri, the company who will manufacture the armyworm bio-pesticide, is about to move their office to their new site and they are considering proposals from other organisations which have expressed interest in relocating there.

The timing of the new facility is critical as it means it will be ready for the upcoming November-April armyworm season. Over the coming months armyworm caterpillars will be sprayed with NPV, made in the new production facility. A couple of days later the dead caterpillars will be harvested and sent to the facility to be cleansed and formulated. The company has an efficient network of traps from their BBSRC-funded project and so will be able to travel to outbreaks and harvest the armyworms.

There are still product registration issues to be overcome for the bio-pesticide. However, the recent registration of Green Muscle, based on a fungus not indigenous to Tanzania which is being used to fight locusts, has set a useful precedent. The armyworm team feels that registering an indigenous agent, such as NPV, should present few problems. There is very strong support with the Ministry of Agriculture, Plant Health Service in Tanzania.

An update showing the impact of community forecasting in the fight against armyworm.
May 2010
Funding provided by the UK Department for International Development (DFID)
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