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Scientists warn of probable armyworm outbreak during rain season

Scientists warn of probable armyworm outbreak during rain season

Xinhua — Namibia may face another outbreak of fall armyworms during this year’s farming season, an official in Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has said.

Chief agricultural scientific officer of plant health control in the Ministry, Eddie Hasheela on Friday said that with the probable rainfall prospects, the fall armyworms, still underground from last year, are expected to hatch.

In 2017, fall armyworms caused damage to staple crops including maize, millet and sorghum.

Meanwhile, as a control measure, according to Hasheela, the government has sourced at least three types of chemicals that would be sprayed to kill the worms in identified areas.

Plans are also underway for the acquisition of equipment that will be used to trap the worms on a large scale.

In the interim, he urged farmers to manually destroy the pest at their primary stage or by strictly applying registered pesticides.

“There are many pesticides on the market, thus farmers are also urged to contact the Ministry for assistance to get the registered chemicals; and tackle the worms before much damage is done to crops,” he said.

This year, fall army worms have already been reported in Zambia, Malawi and South Africa.



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