Armyworm leaves trail of destruction

File: The fall armyworm has left a trail of destruction on farmlands in the Southern African Development Community. Photo: Reuters / Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG - The fall armyworm has left a trail of destruction on farmlands in the Southern African Development Community.

This latest pest that's threatening various South African crops is not unique to this country.

The fall armyworm has also been found in most of our neighbouring countries.

The armyworm is native to the Americas, and researchers believe it made landfall in Africa via flights carrying imported produce from America.

Each female moth can lay up to 1,500 eggs.

READ: East and southern Africa join forces against armyworm

The armyworm has a particular taste for maize crops which can potentially threaten South Africa’s food supply.

This will be another blow to the country following the devastation wreaked by the longest drought in decades.

The economy can also been negatively impacted as maize is the country’s biggest crop export.

Sixteen east and southern African countries have joined forces to combat both the armyworm outbreak and bird flu.

South Africa has launched a host of programmes to secure the country’s food supply.

The Food and Agricultural Organisation will also provide awareness campaigns for the farming industry, as well as pheromone baited insect traps to capture the worms and contain the spread.

 

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