Crop-destroying armyworm caterpillars spread to Uganda

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A farm owner shows the armyworm on a leaf of corn crop on a farm in Onderstepoort just north of Pretoria. (Gulshan Khan, AFP)
A farm owner shows the armyworm on a leaf of corn crop on a farm in Onderstepoort just north of Pretoria. (Gulshan Khan, AFP)

Kampala - A plague of crop-destroying fall armyworm caterpillars has spread to East Africa where officials confirmed their presence for the first time in Uganda on Friday.

An outbreak of the caterpillars in several southern African nations has already raised alarm with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation warning they pose "a huge threat to food security".

Uganda's Agriculture Minister Vincent Ssempijja said the presence of the innocuous looking but hugely destructive brown caterpillar had been confirmed in over 20 districts of the country.

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