SYNOPSIS: African armyworm (Spodoptera exempta Walker) outbreaks were reported in six out the 10 national provinces in Zimbabwe attacking pastures and cereal crops. The pest caused mild to severe damage before control was carried out by the affected farmers with assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture. In Mozambique, armyworm outbreaks were reported from Sofala, Manica, Gaza and Niassa provinces. Small-scale armyworm outbreak was also reported from Lindi Region in southern Tanzania and control measures were undertaken.
Zimbabwe: Armyworm outbreaks which started on a small-scale in Zimbabwe during December 2014 became widespread during January 2015. Six out of the 10 national provinces, including Harare, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Manicaland and Midlands reported widespread armyworm outbreaks mainly on pastures. Maize and other cereal crops which were at advanced stages of growth sustained mild damage. Control operations and assessment of the extent of infestation were being undertaken by the Plant Protection Research Institute of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Tanzania: Armyworm outbreaks were reported in the Lindi Region in southern Tanzania. An area estimated at 625 ha of cereal crops and pasture were infested.
Mozambique: Armyworm outbreak were been reported in Manica, Sofala, Gaza and Niassa provinces of Mozambique. Teams from the Ministry of Agriculture were assisting farmers in carrying out control in the affected provinces.
Kenya, Malawi and Zambia: There were no reports of armyworm outbreaks from these Member countries.
OUTLOOK (Feb – Apr 2015): Armyworm outbreaks may continue up to April when seasonal rains are expected to tail off in most Member Countries. In Kenya and northern Tanzania, armyworm outbreaks may occur from March when seasonal rains start.
This forecast is issued by the International Red Locust Control Organisation for Central and Southern Africa, with thanks to The Director at IRLCO-CSA and contributions by staff of Plant Protection units in its Member Countries. Learn more about IRLCO-CSA