Fears mount over severe crop loss as armyworm outbreak hits Malawi
Rustenburg - Malawi's ministry of agriculture, irrigation and water development has announced an outbreak of armyworms due to rain coupled with the availability of green grass, Malawi24 reported on Monday.
"The armyworms attack plants mostly in the grass family which include maize, sorghum, millet, rice and pasture. They are destructive and can cause severe crop losses if left uncontrolled," Malawi24 quoted the ministry as saying in a statement.
It advised farmers to regularly inspect their fields for caterpillars on the underside of cereal crop leaves, saying the presence of scraped patches on leaves, young green caterpillars with big black heads, holes on leaves and larvae in the whorl or the top middle part of plants signified an attack.
Farmers should promptly report armyworm outbreaks or any suspected worms to the nearest agricultural office or extension workers within their communities, the ministry added.
"The officers will provide advice on how to manage the pests and pesticides for the control of these armyworms," it said.
"In addition, the extension workers are encouraged to be organizing the affected farmers into groups for proper pest management operations."
African News Agency (ANA)