Maize is a key determinant of food security, mainly grown as subsistence in Ethiopia. It was introduced to Ethiopia in 1600’s from Mexico. Food security of Ethiopia is threatened from time to time due to crop diseases and pests. One of these is fall armyworms (Spodoptera frugiperda, J.E Smith; lepdoptera, Noctudea), which is a recently arrived American origin insect pest. As best contributor of Ethiopian economy and social development, maize is being seriously threatened by fall armyworms (FAWs). Maize production stands second in Ethiopia (20.2%) next to teff (34.2%) in terms of the land allotted. However, in terms of productivity maize stands first (45.5%) in relation to teff (29.9%), sorghum (27.2%), and wheat (26.2%). The productivity of maize is suppressed by FAW infestation very significantly (P≤ 0.05) in the previous three years after its arrival to Ethiopia in 2017. The rate of infestation ranges from 1.7 - 34.5% in the past three successive years. According to our results, maize infested by FAW in the past three successive years at regional states levels is shown to devastate produces up to 71%, with the four top infested regions being Gambella (70.4%), Afar (61.6%), Benshangul Gumuz (11.8%), and SNNPRS (10.7%). Health and environmental risks associated with the use of synthetic pesticide chemicals are very profound; hence, environmentally friendly organic based controlling methods of pests with minimum risks such as the use of botanicals, and biological controls are strongly recommended.
Key words: Fall armyworm, pest, Ethiopia, maize, productivity.
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