11 April 2018

Africa: U.S. Says Committed to Stop Spread of Fall Army Worm in Africa

Photo: S. Mhofu/VOA
Army worm (file photo).

The US government has expressed its commitment to pursue partnership with African nations in the fight against stopping the spread of fall armyworm.

In her telephonic press briefing about efforts to combat fall armyworm in Africa to day, USAID Fall Armyworm Task Force Coordinator Regina Eddy said the worm has been identified in over 35 countries of Africa.

She revealed that the US has a decade of experience in controlling fall armyworm so the challenge is transferring that knowledge to African counterparts and opening the path to thousands of technology.

The worm has damaged about 3 million hectares of maize crop since it occurred in Africa two years ago. Additionally, agriculture experts estimate the pest has caused over 13 billion USD in losses for crops across African countries.

To combat the pest in Ethiopia, the US government has been working with government and the private sector on making recommendations on the measures to be taken based on experience, Eddy said.

A total of 210 experts and development agents were reportedly trained early this year so that they can cascade the knowledge and skills to communities, it was learned.

The fall army worm has spread in more than 5 regions of Ethiopia.

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