21 January 2013

Zimbabwe: 'Prepare for Another Army Worm Attack'

FARMERS should prepare for another army worm outbreak in February, as some of the worms that recently hit the country are suspected to have pupated in pastures and gone into the ground to lay eggs to raise another generation, the Department of Research and Specialist Services has warned.

Head, Plant Protection Research Institute, Dr Godfrey Chikwenhere, said the country should expect another outbreak in February as the wet weather would create the right conditions for breeding.

"We cannot say exactly where the outbreaks will be, but there is a high possibility that all the worms that have pupated will raise a new generation that will take advantage of the rains to attack once again.

"Dry areas face less chances of experiencing fresh outbreaks, but it is still possible that they may invade from the wet areas. At the moment army worm control operations are in progress in the different areas and we have enough chemicals for the task," Dr Chikwenhere said.

He said unlike the first outbreak in which the pest was coming in from the north, (Zambia, Uganda and even Tanzania) this time the pest was localised, but he said his department had enough chemicals to contain the current outbreaks.

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