Ethiopia: Government Fighting to Control Spread of Armyworm

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Addis Ababa May 19/2017 An all-out effort is underway to control the fall armyworm that has infested some parts of Ethiopia, according to Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The armyworm known as Spodopterais native to South America and has attacked maize crop in 13 Zones of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State, and 7 Zones of Oromia as well as 2 Zones of Gambella regional states, it added.

Plant Health Care Director at the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Zebdios Selato told journalists yesterday that the government has been exerting efforts to control the agricultural pest.

As a result, 32,000 hectares of land of the over 49,000 attacked is now protected from the pest, the Director added.

According to Zebdios, the Ministry has also deployed teams of expert to the areas affected by the armyworm, in addition to spraying more than 47,000 liters of chemical to destroy it.

In this regard, the director stressed that more effort is expected from farmers, agriculture extension workers and other stakeholders to fully control the armyworm.

Fall armyworm was detected in Ethiopia in March, 2017 in Bench Maji and Sheka Zones of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional state.

The fall armyworm attacks over 80 plant species, including maize, sorghum and cash crop, it was learned.

The pest native to the Americas can fly a long distance and a single armyworm can fly over 100kmsper hour.