An outbreak of the fall armyworm has been reported in various parts of the country with farmers being called upon to work with Agritex Officers to contain the devastating pests.
Speaking during a snap survey of various fields, agronomist and Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) board chairperson Irvine Craig said the outbreak of fall armyworm call for all farmers to scout their fields once their crops germinate and terminate the caterpillar at the earliest stage possible.
“Research has it that the best solutions is to deal with the worm at the early stage. There are six stages of its lifespan, so we urge farmers to be on the lookout especially starting as soon as the crop or maize germinate. By so doing, they can easily apply recommended chemicals at this early stage and destroy the pest,” he said.
He further warned that if allowed to grow to maturity stage, the fall armyworm can be so destructive that farmers can lose all their crops.
“This worm can destroy the whole maize crop and affect it to the cob. Yields can be reduced if not attended to on time.”
While the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is increasing efforts aimed at bolstering the global response to fall armyworm, the destructive caterpillar is considered one of the top 10 devastating plant pests affecting food and agriculture in the world.