Fall armyworms reported in EgyptChristian Fernsby ▼ | June 5, 2019
The fall armyworm is a voracious pest that can destroy more than 80 different agricultural crops, most notably maize and broomcorn, sugarcane, rice, cotton, vegetables and fruits.
African businesses Fall armyworms
The announcement was made by the Agricultural Pesticide Committee (APC) of the Ministry of Agriculture, which said the insects were found in the town of Kom Ombo.
Hassan Abdel Rahman head of the Farmers’ Syndicate said in a statement: “The insect destroys more than 80 different agricultural crops, most notably maize and broomcorn, sugarcane, rice, cotton, vegetables and fruits.
Due to its short lifecycle, which does not exceed a month and a half, this larval insect is difficult to kill with pesticides.”
The APC urged farmers to follow a list of measures to help eliminate the pests, and provided categories of insecticides that could be used.
The fall armyworm first made its way to Africa in 2016 on a ship or plane, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
It has since spread across more than 40 countries on the continent.
A training program was held in April to teach farmers how to observe and deal with the insect.
Additionally, the FAO is organizing a training course for engineers and researchers from Upper Egypt.
Arabnews.com explains how Egypt’s economy relies heavily on agriculture, which comprises up to 14.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 28 percent of the labor force.
Maize is the second most important field crop in Egypt. ■