Fighting armyworm in Kenya and Tanzania
Armyworm are caterpillars of a night flying moth which lays its eggs on grasses and cereal crops. Within a few days the larvae hatch, with up to 1000 caterpillars occupying each square metre. In such numbers, they are able to devastate an area of grassland or crop in a few hours, before characteristically 'marching' to the next source of food. In Tanzania, serious outbreaks of armyworm occur nine years out of ten, causing up to 90% losses of crops and pasture. As the number of caterpillars and moths increase, the plague spreads north through Kenya to Ethiopia, and even Yemen, or south to Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique.