Army worms destroy Burkina Faso crops
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — An invasion of fall army worms has damaged more than 74,132 acres of farmland spread over 13 regions in Burkina Faso, according to the Agriculture Ministry.
The caterpillars have attacked corn, sorghum, rice and other cereals in the West African nation, and the damage may be more widespread as the government is still assessing the affected areas, Moussa Ouattara, a crop protection director at the Agriculture Ministry, said by phone Friday. The pest “attacks mainly corn, but when there’s no corn they attack other crops,” he said.
Fall army worms have ravaged crops from Zambia to Ghana since arriving in Africa from the Americas last year. Armies of the black-striped caterpillars can span miles.
The government has spent $2.3 million distributing insecticide to fight the outbreak, but has appealed to farmers to buy their own pesticides, Ouattara said.