10 January 2017

Zimbabwe: Armyworm Outbreak - Fears Zim's Maize Crops May Be 'Completely' Wiped Out

Photo: The Financial Gazette
(File photo).

Zimbabwe's maize crops could be "completely wiped out" following an outbreak of armyworms in the southern African country, reports say.

According to Daily News, the outbreak began in the Matabeleland North province before spreading into neighbouring areas and threatening villages across the country.

Maize is Zimbabwe's staple crop and if the government fails to contain the outbreak, the country could be pushed further into food insecurity.

"If not controlled properly, there can be re-infestation and the fall army worms may go on to attack the cob. The pest should be sprayed when it is young," entomologist Godfrey Chikwenhere was quoted as saying by the state-controlled Herald newspaper.

The government has already started distributing pesticides to the affected provinces, in an effort to curb the outbreak, the report said.

Zimbabwe is already suffering from a food shortage because of drought.

The United Nations indicated recently that at least 4.5 million people - half of Zimbabwe's drought-stricken rural population - will need aid by next March.

Last month, neighbouring Zambia ordered the national air force into action to fight the armyworms.

The country's ministry of agriculture said at the time that the pests had damaged crops in four of the country's 10 provinces.

The pests are called army worms because they eat most vegetation in their way and can destroy entire fields.


Mnangagwa Wants to Exploit Brexit

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is looking to exploit the opportunity presented by Brexit to push for a rapid mending of… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 News24Wire. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.