Nigeria, like other African countries, woke up to a nightmare of recent army worm infestation in the region, leaving farmers worried as the pest, which has grown resistance to chemicals, wreaked havoc on newly cultivated maize farms across the country. This resulted in the severe reduction on the yield recouped by farmers on their maize field.
Army worm is very deleterious and like the name suggests it derives its name from its feeding habits, of “marching” in large numbers from grasslands into crops. They strongly prefer grasses, cereals like maize, and can mercilessly eat the stem of the crop as well as the leaves.
Army worm infestation can be disastrous on the crops. It affects the yield of the crop from the stalk to the stage of maturity and is capable of destroying entire crops in a matter of weeks if it is unchecked.
However, recent reports reveal that scientists have recorded breakthrough with the development of a maize variety called Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) which has proven to resist the attacks from army worm infestations providing a lasting solution to the infestation. Read more