SYNOPSIS: African armyworm outbreaks reported in ZIMBABWE, southern TANZANIA and MOZAMBIQUE. New outbreaks are forecast soon for central TANZANIA and KENYA.
African armyworm (AAW) outbreaks were reported attacking maize and other cereal crops, mostly at the advanced stages of growth, and pasture in six of the ten provinces, i.e., Harare,Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Manicaland and Midlands in Zimbabwe in January. The Plant Protection Research Institute of the Ministry of Agriculture has launched damage assessment and control operations.
In Tanzania AAW outbreaks were reported in the Lindi in the southern region of the country. The pest was reported infested 625 ha of cereal crops and pasture.
In Mozambique, AAW outbreak was reported in Manica, Sofala, Gaza and Niassa provinces. Teams from the Ministry of Agriculture were assisting farmers in carrying out control in the affected provinces during January (DLCOEA, IRLCO-CSA).
FORECAST UNTIL MID-MAR 2015: Armyworm outbreaks will continue through the forecast period in the southern outbreak areas until they taper off after the seasonal rains diminish. The pest will soon commence its outbreak season in central Tanzania and Kenya. Forecasters in frontline countries must remain vigilant and monitor traps and rain gauges and report to concerned authorities promptly (IRLCO-CSA, OFDA/AELGA).