Fall armyworm to cost more than $2bn in losses
African countries are facing a maize shortage and losses running into billions of dollars due to the devastation caused by the fall armyworm. A new report released by the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (Cabi) shows that improper management of the armyworm could cost 10 of the continent's major maize producing economies between $2.2bn and $5.5bn per year in lost maize harvests.
According to the report, the armyworm is now a permanent challenge to the continent that largely depends on maize, spreading to 28 African countries just a year after it was first reported.
"Enabling our agricultural communities with quick and co-ordinated responses is now essential, to ensure the continent stays ahead of the plague," said Joseph DeVries, vice-president of programme development and innovation at Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra).
European Commission DG ECHO