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15 Jul 2017 description
report Voice of America

Sora Halake

A recently arrived species of armyworm has spread to 21 African countries and threatens the continent's main food staple, maize, report experts from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

USAID senior biotechnology advisor Joseph Huesing says the fall armyworms -- transported from their usual habitat in the U.S. state of Florida or the Caribbean -- are attacking maize crops all over sub-Saharan Africa.

14 Feb 2017 description
report Voice of America

Sebastian Mhofu

HARARE — The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is holding an emergency regional meeting in Zimbabwe on the spread of army worms in southern Africa, which is already struggling with food shortages. The pests are destroying crops in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

FAO coordinator for southern Africa Chimimba David Phiri said the meeting is aimed at finding a strategy to contain the situation.

18 Jan 2017 description
report Voice of America

Lameck Masina

BLANTYRE, MALAWI — Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe are urging farmers to act fast with pesticides to halt the spread of army worms now threatening crops.

Army worms are a common pest, but this year's invasion has sparked particular concern.

In those three countries alone, the worms have destroyed thousands of hectares of maize — a staple food. El Nino-induced drought and flooding destroyed much of the previous two harvests, leaving nearly 30 million people in the region in need of food assistance.