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FAO develops a mobile phone app to monitor Fall Armyworm (FAW) in Africa

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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has developed a new mobile phone application FAMEWS (Fall Armyworm Monitoring & Early Warning System) mobile app in English and French).

The FAMEWS will help farmers and extension officers to collect and record information when scouting fields and checking pheromone traps for Fall Armyworm (FAW).

The easy to use and intuitive app is meant to be used by countries affected by the FAW in Africa.

Collected data can, once an internet connection is established, be transmitted to a centralized cloud by national FAW focal points before it is made available for further analysis and mappings.

image credit: FAO/FAMEWS Team

“FAMEWS will incorporate a tool to diagnose FAW damage, and will be linked to a web-based early warning platform. The FAO has identified several vendors that will be pre-qualified to ensure rapid delivery of high quality traps and lures.

“Innovative technologies are being considered to monitor FAW and diagnose damage using drones, remote sensing, artificial intelligence learning, and Google Earth Engine.” (Source: Africafarming)

Technical Aspects

  • FAO IT-Services manages the server and platforms including updates and technical support.
  • The initial version is designed for low-cost smartphone with Android v.5.0 higher. An iOS version will soon be available.
  • The FAMEWS App is released with some documentation, which include videos in French and English meant to introduce and help would be users to learn how to use the system.
  • Download the documentation here using using Chrome, Safari or Firefox. The app (APK file) can only be opened and installed on an Android smartphone


FAMEWS  is an integral part of the FAO’s sustainable management programme for FAW in Africa 

For more information regarding FAMEWS, contact Keith Cressman 

Abouth FAW in Africa

According to FAO, FAW first landed in West Africa, in early 2016 and it spread across the continent and now has affected more than 40 countries. Learn about this here

As of February 2018 the following countries were affected:-

Map source : FAO, 2018 

Resources related to the FAW

  • Find out more about FAO and Fall Armyworm
  • Fall Armyworm in photos
  • FAO guide - Integrated management of the Fall Armyworm on maize

In preparing this news the text from the following sources have been used, background e-mail on FAMEWS by the FAMEWS Mobile App Team; the AfricanFarming.org and FAO's background information on FAW .