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HARARE, Zimbabwe – Experts are warning that an invasion of armyworms is stripping southern Africa of key food crops and could spread to other parts of the continent.
Representatives of 16 African nations are holding an emergency meeting in Zimbabwe, one of the countries where the fall armyworm has invaded maize fields. South Africa, Malawi and Zambia are among the most affected.
The fall armyworm is a new threat in southern Africa. David Phiri, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization coordinator for the region, said Tuesday it is mostly associated with the Americas.
Phiri says the pest is devastating to crops and so far impossible to eradicate.
"The outbreak is spreading to other countries. If the situation remains like this, food insecurity will worsen," he said.