MOA Fights Invading Caterpillars In 3 Counties -Says Worms Affect Food crops, Contaminate Waterways

MONROVIA: The Ministry of Agriculture has announced that it is actively engaged in curbing caterpillar invasion in three sub-political divisions including Bong, Gbarpolu and Nimba counties. The Ministry says its engagement to curb the caterpillars is due to reports of caterpillars’ invasion in towns and villages it received through its field offices in the three counties, stating that the caterpillar attacks have been affecting food crops and contaminating waterways in Bong, Gbarpolu and Nimba Counties

A press release issued by the Ministry explained that 12 of Liberia’s 15 counties have experienced such worms’ invasion – a natural and periodic occurrence in Liberia since 2009, noting that last weekend, the MOA immediately dispatched technicians to assess the invasion’s coverage, determine types of caterpillars and evaluate damages done.

“Preliminary findings from the MOA’s technicians recommend immediate intervention in those hit areas,” the release indicated, added that  the findings, more so, discovered that  the worms are similar to armyworms and called Achaea which are fast moving and dangerous to the growth of cocoa, bananas, and other food crops.

“As this emergency was unforeseen, the Ministry is vigorously involved in resource mobilization to source and procure appropriate types of environmentally friendly agrochemicals to curb the worms’ widespread,” the MOA release said.

It then concluded that with the start of the farming season, the Ministry of Agriculture remains focused on working collaboratively with local communities, farming households, governmental agencies and collaborating partners to ensure the invasion is contained.

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