Namibia’s agriculture ministry said they have identified the caterpillars that are attacking cereal crops, mostly in the north of country.

Media reports have said the outbreak, especially at some of the country’s biggest green schemes, could cost Namibia more than 20 million Namibia dollars (1.5 million U.S. dollars).

The areas affected most are Omusati and Ohangwena in the north s well as Kavango East and West.

When reports of the outbreak broke out early Jan. 2017, the agriculture ministry had said they were not sure of the type of the caterpillars.

In a statement issued on Monday, the ministry’s permanent secretary Percy Misika said teams of entomologists deployed to the affected areas identified the caterpillar as bollworm, army worm and maize stalk borers.

Misika also said bollworms are destroying the maize cobs, while the army worm was causing damage to the foliage and leaves.

The stalk borer, he added, that are common in Namibia were also destroying some of the young crops.

Misika advised farmers to continue using pesticides which they can get from the plant health division and regional extension offices.

He also said farmers can control the worms by digging deep trenches around their fields to stop the caterpillars from moving in or out of the affected fields.

“In cases of farmers with relatively small plots, hand picking of caterpillars is advised,” Misika said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/


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