Ministry reports African army worm outbreak

from Government of Botswana
Published on 08 Jan 2013 View Original

The Ministry of Agriculture has informed the public that there is an outbreak of the African army worm which destroys both crops and range grasses.

A press release from the ministry states that the worm has been detected in some parts of the country such as Mmopane, Gakgatla, Gweta, Makalamabedi, Shorobe, Shashe- Maun, Matlapana, Chanoga and Gumare.

The release says the ministry is mobilising resources to control the spread of the outbreak with teams already on the ground in some areas.

It says surveillance to establish the extent of the spread of the worm is ongoing and therefore appealed to members of the public to report to agricultural demonstrators or the ministry call centre 17755 for any suspicious cases of the worm.

The statement says the last time the country experienced such outbreak of the worm was in 1991 in Tutume Sub-district.

It notes that the African army worm can extensively damage crops and range land if left unattended as it has a habit of eating day and night.

The release further says the African worm belongs to a family of moth and is not a butterfly.

The worm gets its name from its habit of marching in large numbers from grassland in to crops.
The press release says the army worm is green in colour at early stage of development but later changes to black with a white lining on the sides.

The statement states that the worm has a characteristic inverted V- shape on the head.

It further says the mature caterpillar is approximately five centimeters in length.

Source : BOPA
Author : BOPA
Location : GABORONE
Event : Press release
Date : Jan 08 Tue, 2013