African nations are gearing up to battle an invasive crop pest called the fall armyworm, which has been rapidly spreading across the continent since its arrival there just over a year ago. The caterpillar has wreaked destruction on staple crops including maize (corn), millet and sorghum. Experts warn that Europe and Asia could be next.
Researchers are also launching studies to understand the behaviour of the pest in new environments, as well as its susceptibility to insecticides.
Although no one knows how the insect found its way into Africa, increased trade and climate change are the likely culprits, say experts.
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