May 21, 2018 / 11:21 AM / a month ago

CORRECTED-Drought, armyworms cut Malawi maize crop by 19 pct - minister

LILONGWE, May 21 (Reuters) - Malawi’s maize output declined by 19.4 percent in the 2017/18 farming year to 2.8 million tons due to damage caused by drought and crop-eating armyworms, Agriculture Minister Joseph Mwanamvekha said on Monday.

“This (decline) is because of dry spells experienced in some parts of the country and the armyworm invasion,” Mwanamvekha told Reuters. Malawi produced 3.5 million tons of maize in the 2016/17 season.

Maize is Malawi’s staple crop. Armyworms are a pest from Latin America that first threatened African crops late in 2016. (Reporting by Mabvuto Banda Writing by Alexander Winning Editing by Joe Brock)

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