Zimbabwe: Army-Worm Threatens Mash West, Mash Central Agric Season

12 December 2019

Farmers in Mashonaland Central particularly areas around Shamva and Guruve as well as Mashonaland West areas around Magunje are urged to be on the lookout for an African Army-worm outbreak following results of trap catches recorded in the past week.

Department of Plant Quarantine and Plant Protection Services in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement head ,Mr Shingirayi Nyamutukwa urged farmers to be on the lookout as the African army-worm is more dangerous than the fall army-worm.

"The army-worm can wipe out the whole crop during the night if not controlled on time, as it has a monster appetite for foliage. The pest feeds on maize leaves devouring whole plants and can also feed on pastures.

"African Army-worm outbreaks occasionally occur in Zimbabwe with the pest attacking cereals like maize, sorghum and millet. The caterpillars move in large numbers causing losses of up to 100 percent. Farmers should therefore continue to scout their field crops and any pests' presence should be reported to the nearest Agritex or Plant Quarantine and Plant Protection Services offices nearby.

"Reports of African Army-worm outbreaks have been recorded from our neighbouring country Zambia hence a likelihood of outbreaks occurring in Zimbabwe ," he said.

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