SA halts armyworms' march

10 November 2017 - 07:30 By Reuters
An armyworm inside a mielie. File photo.
An armyworm inside a mielie. File photo.
Image: Facebook/CGTN Africa

South Africa has managed to control an outbreak of fall armyworm pests, which were first detected in January and threatened maize crops, the agriculture minister said yesterday.

Countries with outbreaks can face import bans on their agricultural products because armyworm is classified as a quarantine pest.

It 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," Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana said in a written response to parliamentary questions.

"Emergency registration of agrochemicals was implemented," he added.

Agricultural business chamber economist Wandile Sihlobo said the damage to the harvest was minimal as "people were able to apply the right chemicals".