Scientists Find Crop-Destroying Caterpillar Spreading Rapidly In Africa

"Scientists tracking a crop-destroying caterpillar known as armyworm say it is now spreading rapidly across mainland Africa and could reach tropical Asia and the Mediterranean in the next few years, threatening agricultural trade.

In research released on Monday, scientists at the Britain-based Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) said the pest, which had not previously been established outside the Americas, is now expected to spread "to the limits of suitable African habitat" within a few years.

The caterpillar destroys young maize plants, attacking their growing points and burrowing into the cobs."

Kate Kelland reports for Reuters February 6, 2017.

Source: Reuters, 02/06/2017