South­ern Africa may face food deficits due to army­worm and poor rains - FRA

Zambian Business Times - - AGRO COMMODITIES -

South­ern Africa, which recorded bumper crop har­vests last sea­son, could face food deficits fol­low­ing pro­longed dry spells and the march of the fall army worm, a se­nior Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­gan­i­sa­tion (FAO) of­fi­cial has said.

The East­ern Cape depart­ment of ru­ral devel­op­ment and agrar­ian re­form con­firmed the pres­ence of fall army­worm in the prov­ince.

"The tell-tale signs are not good for this crop­ping sea­son with the com­bi­na­tion of de­layed rains and out­breaks of the fall army­worm," David Phiri, FAO’s sub-re­gional co-or­di­na­tor for South­ern Africa, said in a phone in­ter­view. "The big­gest prob­lem this year is less, over­all, the fall army­worm than it is the spo­radic rain­fall pat­terns that are emerg­ing. A com­bi­na­tion makes the sit­u­a­tion worse."

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