May 25, 2019 | Updated: 10:06 PM EDT

Armyworm Caterpillar Invasion: Crop-Killing Bugs Reaches Kenya After Uganda

Apr 23, 2017 06:12 PM EDT

Fall armyworm discovered in Rwanda to have already destroyed multiple crop fields of maize.
(Photo : Al Jazeera English/Getty Images) Kenya's destroyed crops by fall armyworms were mentioned to be under control already.

Rwanda, Kenya’s crops specifically their maize was discovered to be destroyed by armyworms. The crop-killing bugs were mentioned to have been spread from the Western Africa and have already reached Kenya as reported.

According to the crop-killing armyworms were said to have first appeared in Nigeria and Togo last year. Hence, making Rwanda the third country affected in the East Africa region. The reason for its widespread was blamed on commercial air travel.

Telesphore Ndabamenye, head of the crop production at the Rwanda Agriculture Board said that the armyworms had inflicted most of Rwanda's 30 districts but the effects were "not bad." "It is under control, there is big effort devoted to controlling it," he added.

It was then mentioned that the armyworm bugs had already infected 11 of the country's 47 counties. The fall armyworms were identified to eat maize, wheat, millet and rice along with other crops. The bugs were also stated to devastate North and South Africa’s crops which had suffered enough from the long drought.

Meanwhile, Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba stated that “The national government must declare this tragedy a national disaster and allocate enough money to deal with the problem without further delay,” he said per Standard Media. Other farmers also plead that the armyworm outbreak made them lost a huge profit making them look for money and another place to plant due to the entire crop field damaged.

On another note, Uganda’s destroyed crops were reported to reach an estimated cost of $193 million (180 million euros). Experts then noted that the armyworms must be sprayed by Belt concentration, a pesticide which is mentioned to be unaffordable by most farmers for an interval of 14 days.

Nonetheless, the Rwanda Defense Force concluded that the armyworms are indeed a huge threat to national food security as what UN Food and Agriculture Organization perceived the bug to be as well. The country’s countermeasure was then mentioned to 4,500 liters of pesticides airlifted around the country.

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