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Scientists find crop-destroying caterpillar spreading rapidly in Africa

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by Reuters
Monday, 6 February 2017 00:01 GMT

The armyworm is destroying young maize plants across Africa and could reach Asia and the Mediterranean in the next few years, threatening agricultural trade

By Kate Kelland

LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Scientists tracking a crop-destroying caterpillar known as armyworm say it is now spreading rapidly across mainland Africa and could reach tropical Asia and the Mediterranean in the next few years, threatening agricultural trade.

In research released on Monday, scientists at the Britain-based Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) said the pest, which had not previously been established outside the Americas, is now expected to spread "to the limits of suitable African habitat" within a few years.

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