Reitumetse Mahope
1 minute read
15 Feb 2017
9:08 am

Fall armyworm invades Pretoria

Reitumetse Mahope

Farmers are urged to be vigilant to ensure early detection and enable sufficiently early assistance.

The armyworm has already caused damage to staple crops.

The fall armyworm is wreaking havoc to farmers’ crops in parts of the country.

Gauteng department of agriculture and rural development spokesperson Roleta Lebelo said the department had recently dispatched a crop scientist to verify suspected infestation in Bronkhorstspruit, where the worm had affected yellow maize planted on 45 hectares of land.

“The invasion by the fall armyworm pest currently ravaging crops in some parts of the country requires a coordinated approach by all stakeholders involved,” said Lebelo.

He urged farmers to be vigilant to ensure early detection and enable sufficiently early assistance, Rekord East reported.

Department MEC Lebogang Maile said the spread of the armyworms was a potential threat to food security and negatively affected the economic activities of small-scale farmers in the province.

“Farmers cannot afford any further setbacks following the end of a long drought,” said Maile.

Labelo said pest infestations were also detected in the north and the northeast of Pretoria.

Experts were said to be on a continuous high alert to respond to situations that may affect farmers in the province.

Lebelo said the department was continuing to liaise with farmers and the national department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries to ensure a coordinated intervention.

– Caxton News Service

For more news your way, follow The Citizen on Facebook and Twitter.