Plans in place to control armyworm infestation

The Agriculture Department has confirmed the highly destructive worm has infiltrated crops in the country.

FILE: An armyworm. Picture: pixabay.com

PRETORIA - The Agricultural Research Council says it will use pesticides which have been successful against the fall armyworm in other countries, to eradicate the pest in South Africa.

The Agriculture Department has confirmed the highly destructive worm has infiltrated crops in the country.

The pest, which is native to north and South America, was first detected in Africa a year ago. It has since spread to several countries, including Namibia and Zambia.

The Agricultural Research Council’s Roger Price says they’re exploring several means of eradicating the fall armyworm.

“Various pesticides have been used in Mexico and Brazil. Some of those pesticides are compatible here. There are various control methods in those countries.”

Minister Senzeni Zokwana says food security is not under threat at this stage.

“The extent of the spread has not been identified. We are working around the clock and we will overcome the problem.”

An emergency plant pest response plan has been initiated.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)