The Minister Delegate to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Clementine Ananga Messina, says six out of ten regions in Cameroon are facing a major threat from a pest known as army caterpillars which attack cereals.
The Minister was speaking in Yaounde yesterday during a meeting with stakeholders in the farming sector to find lasting solutions to the pest problem.
According to the Minister, the pest is a big threat to the country’s food security. “It attacks cereals like maize, rice, leguminous plants like peanuts, beans. Some six regions have already been affected since 2015. So seeking ways to destroy the army worm is important” She said.
Yesterday’s meeting was therefore aimed at sensitising the various stakeholders on the pest and establishing a plan of action that will destroy the pest. It should be noted that over ten millions Cameroonians consume maize and other cereals.
Research on the pest reveal that the army worms attack the maize leaves, the flower and even bore into the stalk. And because they dig into the stem of the plant, it is difficult to notice them. It is only on close inspection that you realise almost the entire plant has been destroyed.
Other research groups have also reported it in parts of West Africa, including Nigeria and Ghana.