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Agriculture minister says cannot yet tell impact of pest on output

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South Africa’s agriculture minister said on Monday the nation was taking measures to find the extent of injury from an invasion within the crop-eating fall armyworm, and might not really estimate the impact on farm output.

This is the brand new the pest have been detected in Africa’s biggest grain producer. It may extensive crop damage and features a preference for maize, the regional staple.

Countries with confirmed outbreaks can face import bans in their agricultural products because armyworm is assessed for a quarantine pest. The autumn armyworm is usually an invasive Central American species that is certainly harder to detect and eradicate than its African counterpart.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister, Senzeni Zokwana said the autumn armyworm ended up being positively identified from samples collected within the northern Limpopo province.

He said the pest would be a strong flyer and could be distributed by prevailing winds over large distances.

“It’s difficult in crop production to look for the scale with the you might harvest as that process is informed by a number of other factors such as prevalence of rain … essential the main reason we want to react in a short time should be to ensure that we minimize the injury when it’s possible,” he told a media conference.

His ministry was registering pesticides to use with the fall armyworm as “no pesticide was previously registered for use against it,” he was quoted saying. Two pesticides was registered.

Zokwana said Africa would be involved in an emergency meeting called with the Food and Agricultural Organization in Zimbabwe’s capital in the future to shape a coordinated emergency reply to the armyworm threat in your community.

Suspected outbreaks were also noted in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. To follow a crippling El Nino-triggered drought which scorched high of this particular region in 2009, hitting crop production and leaving millions searching for food aid.

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