Armyworm invading SA is a major threat to global agriculture

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The armyworm. (iStock)
The armyworm. (iStock)

Cape Town - The fall armyworms that have ravaged maize fields from Ghana to South Africa since arriving on the continent last year could spread to Asia and the Mediterranean, a research body said.

Infestations of the pest that arrived from the Americas last year have been confirmed in Ghana, the Oxfordshire, UK-based Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International said.

South Africa also verified on February 3 that the caterpillars have arrived in the continent’s biggest producer of maize, a staple, after they travelled from Zambia through Zimbabwe. There are reports that they’ve also reach Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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