Fall armyworm pest spreading fast across Africa from Americas

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“Fall armyworm” pest. File Photo: FAO

The so-called "fall armyworm" pest is a "new threat" to agriculture and the economy of Southern Africa which has already spread to seven countries since the beginning of the year.

That's according to an emergency meeting convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, this week, to work out how best to respond to the rapidly growing threat.

The crop-eating armyworm is endemic in parts of the Americas, where the government of Brazil alone spends more than US$600 million each year trying to control it.

East and Southern African countries agreed on an "urgent plan of action" to boost both regions capacity to manage emerging threats to crops and livestock.

Sandra Ferrari asked David Phiri, FAO's sub-regional coordinator for Southern Africa, to outline the array of different threats facing farmers and their livelihoods.

Duration: 2'24"

 

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