The presence of legionary caterpillars was reported in July 2017 in south-western Chad, but was not confirmed. A few days ago, a producer from the suburbs of N’Djamena reported their presence in his field. On Wednesday, October 4, 2017, ironically, the legionary caterpillars appeared in a cornfield of the Chadian Agronomic Research Institute.
The Minister of Production, Irrigation and Agricultural Production, Asseid Gamar Sileck, described the damage these caterpillars cause to corn: “The leaves are perforated, the flowers are destroyed, ears of the whole … The caterpillar enters the heart of the plant very young and, from that moment, it blocks the evolution of the leaf. As a result, production is reduced to zero. ”
“Find an adequate response before people start sowing”
The authorities are worried. More than the campaign that is coming to an end, it is the off-season crops around Lake Chad, which start at the end of the rainy season, which are of concern. “We have to pay a lot of attention and we have to find an adequate response before people start sowing and seeing their shoots destroyed by this caterpillar.”
After four weeks, the legionary caterpillar that has become a butterfly can travel 100 kilometers in a day. The risk is present and Chad, which has called on FAO to help, is waiting for a rapid response from all its partners.
Source: RFI Afrique