Beet armyworm infestation down
The Agriculture Ministry is reporting that there has been a significant reduction in the beet armyworm infestation across farms that are usually vulnerable to the pest.
The pest mostly affects scallion, onion, pepper, beetroot, callaloo, watermelon, cantaloupe, muskmelon and cotton farms in some farming communities in St Elizabeth and Manchester.
Zonal Plant Health and Food Safety Officer for the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Lawrence Rowe, says the reduction is due to the Ministry’s and other stakeholders’ intervention strategies.
He told the JIS that the pest has been in Jamaica since 2009, when there was the first major outbreak in the Pedro Plains region in St Elizabeth.
Reports have shown that between 2009 and 2012 farmers have suffered major losses, due to the pest.
But since 2013, there has been no major outbreak of the pest.