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Preparation to prevent invasion of armyworms

The head of the migration pests control at the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Tedros Seyum reported that the preparation is underway in all regions of the country to prevent the invasion of newly emerging armyworms.

Asmara, 09 May 2017- The head of the migration pests control at the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Tedros Seyum reported that the preparation is underway in all regions of the country to prevent the invasion of newly emerging armyworms.

Mr. Tedros indicated that the ministry in cooperation with regional and international organizations is finalizing preparation to control the armyworm that has already ravaged crops across more than 20 Eastern, Central and West African countries.

He further said that the armyworm is native to the Americas and arrived in Africa with the shipment of maize. Indicating that the armyworm could fly 1600 k.m in 30 hours and each adult lays up to 2000 eggs during its two-weeks life, Mr. Tedros said that the pest feeds on 80 different plant species but the most prevalent strain eats maize and has already ravaged about 300,000 hectares across the region.

According to Mr. Tedros, the uniqueness of the armyworm is that it proves resistant to most chemicals survives not only on the leaves of maize but also tunnels directly into maize.

Mr. Tedros finally said that the armyworm has not been seen in Eritrea and the region and called on farmers to immediately report to the Ministry of Agriculture upon observing unique type of pest.

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