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Are genetically modified crops a solution for the African armyworm invasion?

February 20th, 2017 / AFKinsider

A combination of native African armyworms and Fall armyworms from the Americas are ravaging staple crops across southern Africa. If uncontrolled, they have the potential to cause major food shortages, according to a report in The Conversation.
Damage to maize is likely to have the biggest impact on farmers in southern …

Armyworms are wreaking havoc in southern Africa. Why it’s a big deal

February 13th, 2017 / The Conversation, UK

A combination of native African armyworms and Fall armyworms from the Americas are ravaging staple crops across southern Africa. If uncontrolled, they have the potential to cause major food shortages. The Conversation Africa’s energy and environment editor Ozayr Patel asked Kenneth Wilson to explain the threat and what can be …

New technique kills two maize pests

February 10th, 2017 / Sunrise, Uganda

An experiment meant to evaluate the effectiveness of a resistant maize variety against the devastating maize stem borer developed by Ugandan researchers has proved successful in controlling yet another hazardous pest, the leaf eater that had proved a menace to farmers across the Uganda especially during the dry season.
According to …

Armyworm problem spreads through Africa

February 8th, 2017 / eNCA

A pest devastating maize crops is spreading rapidly in Africa, with South Africa and Zimbabwe confirming its presence on Tuesday.
The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) has been detected in South Africa’s northern Limpopo province, the South African Government News Agency quoted Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana as saying.
Godfrey Chikwenhere from Zimbabwe’s Agriculture …

After the devastating drought, armyworm could be our next agricultural disaster

February 5th, 2017 / Huffington Post, South Africa

The 2016/17 summer crop production season started on a slightly positive note for Southern Africa’s agricultural sector, after emerging from a devastating drought in the 2015/16 season. For South Africa, there are already promising indications that the country could retain its status as a net exporter of maize.
In the second …

‘Biblical plague’ of armyworms stalks South African maize

January 30th, 2017 / SundayTimes, South Africa

Regional governments are to hold a crisis meeting in Johannesburg next month following signs that a virulent pest attacking maize crops may have found its way to South Africa. See …

RNA clay offers green alternative to plant pesticides

January 27th, 2017 /, UK

A nano-sized bio-degradable clay-comprising double stranded ribonucleic acid (dsRNA) could offer a cost-effective, clean and green alternative to chemical-based plant pesticides.
Australian researchers from the University of Queensland have successfully used a gene-silencing spray, named BioClay, a combination of biomolecules and clay, to protect tobacco plants from a virus for 20 …

Southern African maize munching pest is South American invader

January 18th, 2017 / Reuters, UK

A maize pest that has devastated crops in southern Africa is a South American species which is harder to detect and eradicate than its African counterpart, agriculture officials and experts said on Tuesday.
The fall armyworm outbreak has erupted in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi and follows a crippling El Nino-triggered drought …

Stakeholders concerned about whitefly pest

February 15th, 2016 / All

Over 100 members of the panel for agricultural research from 23 countries have met today in Arusha to discuss ways to tackle the whitefly species known to cause crop losses. The pest fly which carries and spread disease is a major threat to global food production. According to research …

Ants are as effectives as pesticides

September 2nd, 2015 / Aarhus Science and Technology, Denmark

A new scientific review from Aarhus University shows that when farmers use ants as pest controllers, it is just as effective as using chemicals. In addition, the method is sustainable – and far cheaper. See …