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Hunting the African armyworm

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Published on Apr 29, 2013

Read the full blog post on the Global Food Security website here: http://bit.ly/13FB94Z

"We have arranged for you to meet the Vice President at 10am on Sunday. Is this OK?". That was it, my trip to Zambia was definitely on and I had just a few hours to prepare for my field visit and meet one of the country's top politicians who was leading their efforts to manage a food security crises.

But as you can see in the video above, this visit turned out to be rather different from the rest.

For nearly twenty years now, I have been working on an infamous crop pest called the African armyworm. This small 3-4cm long caterpillar feeds on all of the major cereal crops, including maize, rice, sorghum and millet, as well as on pasture grasses where densities typically reach hundreds of insects per square metre.

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