Response to Pests & Diseases

As a dynamic and nimble organization with strong ties to the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN Member States, numerous multi and bilateral agencies, and the key players in the region's agriculture sector, Grow Asia is uniquely positioned to facilitate regional responses to outbreaks of pests & diseases. We do this by (1) developing regional Action Plans with the ASEAN Secretariat, (2) identifying avenues to resource these Action Plans and (3) working with our partners, Country Partnerships, and Working Groups to operationalize them.


This page highlights some of this work and outlines opportunities for collaboration.

The Fall Armyworm (FAW):


The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) was first reported in Southeast Asia in late 2018 in Thailand and Myanmar. It has since rapidly spread, and its presence is now confirmed in almost all ASEAN countries. The pest can cause major damage, particularly to maize, with estimates indicating an annual USD884 million cost to the region. In 2019, ASEAN supported the development of a regionally coordinated response and requested that Grow Asia, with the ASEAN Secretariat and the Vietnamese Government, develop a regional FAW strategy. The ASEAN Action Plan on Fall Armyworm Control was subsequently approved as a regional action plan in August 2020. This comprehensive Plan sets out the goals, objectives, and work programs to manage the pest over the next five years. Grow Asia is the secretariat of the Action Plan.


Further information can be found on the ASEAN FAW Action Plan website.

Upcoming Event Series:

Technical Workshop Series on Biocontrol for FAW


This is an introductory technical workshop series designed to provide practical information and advice for practitioners in the field interested in using biocontrol strategies as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to controlling FAW.



The ASEAN Action Plan is partnering Grow Asia, CABI, IPM Innovation Lab, Biorationale, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (CAAS) to deliver this innovative series.


As part of this series, we are also keen to identify at least one laboratory, training, or research center in each Southeast Asian country, where possible, to help support this work. The aim is to build a network of expertise across the region. Please contact us at if you are interested in being one of these affiliated centers.


The workshops will be delivered over the Zoom webinar platform with materials, presentations and an ongoing forum encouraged through the Knowledge and Innovation Hub of the ASEAN FAW Action Plan. Participants will be encouraged to post research efforts and results on the CABI Research Collaboration Portal for FAW.



Participation is open to anyone who wishes to register for the course. However, note that we encourage participants who are wanting to actively trial and test different strategies in the field and report back on their successes (and failures) of those trials throughout the 6-month series. Participants will have the opportunity to present potential projects for consideration under the ASEAN FAW Action Plan.  Participants may attend as many sessions as they are interested in. A certification of participation will be given for participants who attend four or more of the sessions and who answer a survey evaluation after each event. We encourage university graduate students to attend the sessions.


Registration is now open for the first 4 workshops of the Biocontrol Technical Workshop Series:

Session 1: Field collection and identification of FAW parasitoids and predators

17 December 2020 | 4:00 PM SGT (GMT+8)

Watch the Recording

Session 2: Rearing of parasitoids and predators for FAW Control
14 January 2021 | 10:00 AM SGT (GMT+8)

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Session 3: Selection and release of parasitoids and predators for mass production and release for FAW control.

28 January 2021 | 10:00 AM SGT (GMT+8)

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Session 4: Biopesticide Efficacy Part 1: Why are biopesticide trials so difficult?
4 March 2021 | 4:00 PM SGT (GMT+8)

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Session 5: Farmer acceptance of biocontrol approaches and scale-up issues.
18 March 2021 | 04:00 PM SGT (GMT+8)

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Session 6: Biopesticide efficacy Part 2: Effective design of biopesticide trials
8 April 2021 | 04:00 PM SGT (GMT+8)

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Session 7: Design tips for conservation biocontrol studies and programs
22 April 2021 10:00 AM SGT (GMT+8)

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Session 8: Biocontrol as part of an IPM Approach 

6 May 2021 04:00 PM SGT (GMT+8)

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