North West takes proactive steps to avoid FAW outbreak

The North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agriculture is acting decisively to avoid any possible outbreak of Fall Armyworm (FAW).

This after reports of suspected infestations around the Bojanala Platinum District where there’s been an increase in the number of insects following the recent rainy weather.

“Agricultural advisers have been trained to swiftly perform rigorous scouting for confirmation of FAW within the suspected areas in the province,” a spokesperson for the department said. “In doing this, the department hopes to avert the spread of FAW and possible economic losses that may be incurred by crop farmers to this effect.”

Farming communities have been advised that not all caterpillars and moths are FAW but if they are suspicious, they should visit the nearest department service point to report any cases for immediate action as control measures will be rolled out as and when reported.

“The department has also made available chemicals and sprayers at all local area offices to assist small-scale farmers to control identified and reported FAW cases,” according to a statement released by the department yesterday.

FAW mainly affects maize plants, but can occasionally attack cotton, wheat, sorghum, soybeans, potatoes or groundnuts, and poses a threat to producers due to the pace at which it is spreading in the country.

Infestations have already been detected in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape.

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