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Africa Corn Losses From Armyworm May Cost $3 Billion, CABI Says

An outbreak of fall armyworms destroying crops across Africa may cost the continent about $3 billion in lost corn output in the coming year, according to an estimate by the Center for Agricultural and Biosciences International.

The alien pest, which is prevalent in the Americas, attacks more than 80 different plant species, according to a joint statement issued Friday by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known as Cimmyt, and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. The caterpillars pose a “frightening risk” to food security on the continent, said B.M. Prasanna, director of the Global Maize Program at Cimmyt.