As the Commission pointed out in its reply to Written Question E-001503/2017, the recent occurrence of the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) in Africa and its spread worldwide has been noted by the Commission services and discussed with the Member States at the relevant technical Committee. This pest is included in the annexes to Council Directive 2000/29/EC(1) that specifies protective measures against the introduction into the EU of organisms harmful to plants. Increased attentiveness during import controls of host commodities is recommended.
In Africa, in addition to the 11th European Development Fund programme ‘Support towards the operationalisation of Southern Africa Development Community Regional Agriculture Policy’ mentioned in the above-quoted reply, the Commission is closely following the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) work in coordinating a joint response. A multi-stakeholders meeting was held in Nairobi in April 2017 that set up a working platform for launching a comprehensive regional/continental plan of action to fight the challenge posed by transboundary pests like fall armyworm.
The Commission’s response to food shortages is based on the assessments provided by the Global Network Against Food Crisis, a Commission-led initiative involving the main players in food security issues such as United Nations Agencies, African Regional Economic Organisations, and the United States Agency for International Development. This network aims to prompt coordination among stakeholders and promote joint planning and joint responses to food crises, including those resulting from conflicts, extreme climatic events and, as it might be the case for the fall armyworm, pest outbreaks.