Liberia worms swarm ’emergency’

By | January 29, 2009

Caterpillars consuming leaves in Liberia, file pic from 22 January 2009Liberia’s president has declared a state of emergency in response to a plague of crop-destroying army worms.

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said all possible resources would be used to fight the insects, which have spread to next-door Guinea and are nearing Sierra Leone.

Some 400,000 residents in 80 villages had been affected, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said.

The “worms” – which are actually caterpillars – are among the world’s most destructive agricultural pests.

Guinea has started spraying, and Sierra Leone has announced it will mobilise chemicals and personnel to its border.

Worst in decades

Liberia has already appealed for international help to carry out aerial spraying against tens of millions of the invading insects.

It is the West African country’s worst infestation of armyworm in three decades.

via BBC NEWS | Africa | Liberia worms swarm ’emergency’.

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