An awareness of a possible outbreak of Fall Army Worm in southern Africa during the 2017/18 crop season has been put in place by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry of Namibia.
This is as a result of a predicted surplus rainfall expected in the coming rainy season, which will create high chances of an armyworm outbreak.
This information was disclosed by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Percy Misika in a recently conducted interview with Nampa.
Percy went further to explain that the Fall Army Worm is as a result of the larval life stage of a Fall Army Worm Moth. The insects in its pupal stage in winter only start hatching once the weather conditions become more favourable.
The outbreak will be a consequence of the insect’s life cycle, of which when it happens, it will damage and destroy a wide variety of crops, causing large economic losses to farmers.
“As part of the preparation, the ministry is creating awareness of a possible fall armyworm outbreak among crop farmers for them to take action on time,” he said.
Therefore, the ministry with support from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has trained about 30 agricultural scientific officers and technicians from the ministry on how to handle the fall armyworm.
“The training focused on strengthening their capacity on pest diagnostics, monitoring, containment and pest damage symptoms and available management options,” said Percy.