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08 Feb 2017 description

As the Zambian government scales up efforts to control an army worm outbreak that is damaging maize crops across the country, William Chilufya wonders if the infestation will encourage a policy shift away from mono-cropping maize.

Maize – Zambia's primary staple crop – is under attack from fall army worms. The fall army worm is a migratory pest that rapidly moves through fields eating young plant stems at lightning speed, leaving devastation in their wake. It is estimated that 10 per cent of Zambian farms in six provinces have already been affected.