November 9, 2017 / 10:00 AM / a month ago

South Africa controls outbreak of armyworm pest threatening maize crops -minister

CAPE TOWN, Nov 9 (Reuters) - South Africa has managed to control an outbreak of fall armyworm pests, first detected in January and which threatened mainly maize crops, the agriculture minister said on Thursday.

Countries with confirmed outbreaks can face import bans on their agricultural products because armyworm is classified as a quarantine pest. The fall armyworm is an invasive Central American species that is harder to detect and eradicate than its African counterpart.

“It is a serious pest and is officially controlled,” minister Senzeni Zokwana said in a written response to parliamentary questions.

This was the first time the pest had been detected in Africa’s biggest grain producer. (Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by James Macharia)

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