Scientist leads in fight against fall armyworm


A British scientist is leading the fight against a new strain of armyworm that has ravaged the maize crop across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and 25 other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Lancaster University Prof Kenneth Wilson is looking into the problems caused by the fall armyworm and he is currently studying ways of tackling the pest in Tanzania using a variant on a biopesticide virus.

“People are rightly scared about what’s going to happen,” the scientist said, warning it could soon spread across the rest of Africa and into southern Europe.

Prof Wilson first became interested in African armyworms after studying their migration through Kenya 25 years ago.

In Kenya, the pest has attacked around 250,000 acres of land while in Tanzania and Uganda, the estimated loss is put at 3.2 and 1.4 million tonnes of crops.

“The armyworm is a clear and present danger,” Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, and this year’s World Food prize winner, said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Drop a Comment Below

Written by Daily Nation

The Nation Media Group (NMG) founded by His Highness the Aga Khan in 1959 has become the largest independent media house in East and Central Africa. It has been quoted on the Nairobi Stock Exchange since the early 1970s.

BREAKING NEWS:One person feared dead as Tension still high in Kericho Township pitting Jubilee and Nasa Supporters

Governor Sonko Donates Sh1m to Kawangware post-election victims