Identifiant du topic: HORIZON-CL6-2024-FARM2FORK-03-1

Spotlight on plant priority pest: fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda)

Type d'action : HORIZON Research and Innovation Actions
Nombre d'étapes : Single stage
Date d'ouverture : 08 mai 2024
Date de clôture : 24 septembre 2024 17:00
Budget : €5 000 000
Call : Fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems from primary production to consumption
Call Identifier : HORIZON-CL6-2024-FARM2FORK-03
Description :


A successful proposal should support the farm to fork strategy to transition to fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food systems from primary production to consumption, notably the target to reduce by 50% the overall use and risk of chemical pesticides and reduce the use by 50% of the more hazardous pesticides and the biodiversity strategy. Activities will support Regulation (EU) 2016/2031[1] on protective measures against pests of plants and Regulation (EU) 2023/1134[2] on measures to prevent the introduction into, establishment and spread within the Union territory of Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith).

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Enlarge the knowledge about Spodoptera frugiperda in the Union territory, including the influence of climate change, ecosystem degradation and globalisation;
  • Enhance capacities to prevent, monitor and (bio)control of Spodoptera frugiperda, developing economical and environmentally sound solutions for effective pest management;
  • Support related EU and Associated Countries’ plant health policies, while promoting international cooperation.


Spodoptera frugiperda, also known as fall armyworm (FAW), is a transboundary, highly polyphagous plant pest with an exceptional migratory capacity, which can severely impact yields of several crops, such as maize, rice, vegetables and cotton. It is spreading fast worldwide and towards the Union territory. Its presence was officially confirmed in Cyprus in January 2023 and later in the year in Greece, Portugal and Romania. Furthermore, the number of non-compliance with Union legislation regarding the presence of the specified pest on imported commodities has remained high, and the number of plant species in which the specified pest is intercepted has been increasing. Therefore, measures were set to protect the Union from the pest[3]. The rapid and recent global invasion of FAW has led to an important need for knowledge surrounding its risks for plant health and agriculture and effective management options, in particular in the EU. There is a need to set out a comprehensive package of research and innovation actions adapted to the EU agricultural systems and practices for managing the threat.

Proposals should:

  • Contribute to the understanding of the risk and impact of the introduction of this emerging plant pest in the EU, its spread and establishment including the biology of the pest and its interaction with host plants, the influence of climate change, ecosystem degradation, and globalisation;
  • Develop efficient survey strategies and integrated systems for early-detection and (bio)control of the pest(s);
  • Extend the range of tools and technologies available for the development of economically and environmentally sound solutions for an effective pest prevention and outbreak management, and if relevant pursue in line with the principles of integrated pest management and taking into account the use of non-chemical or biological control methods;
  • Develop breeding activities for more resistant plant varieties;
  • Analyse the social and economic implications for EU farmers, and other economic operators affected by the outbreaks of the plant pest and developing approaches whereby those affected can best cope with the situation.

Given the evolving nature of the issue, regular updates and continuous monitoring of research progress are essential to identify and address new and existing knowledge gaps effectively. Collaborative efforts between researchers, policymakers, and practitioners across Europe may also help in bridging these gaps. Therefore, proposals should ensure solid collaborations between research, plant health authorities and the farming sector.

International cooperation with countries affected or threatened by Spodoptera frugiperda is strongly encouraged, in particular, to capitalise on existing knowledge.

The proposal should seek complementarities and synergies while avoiding duplication and overlap with Purpest[4] (Grant agreement n° 101060634). A dedicated task and corresponding resources should be included in proposals to address exchanges and synergies with this and any other relevant international initiatives, given that Spodoptera frugiperda is a transboundary pest.

In this topic, the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement.