The National Farmers Union (Nafu) says small and medium-scale sugarcane and maize farmers in northern KwaZulu-Natal have been severely affected by the destructive fall armyworm. The pestilence is wreaking havoc in at least five of the province’s 11 districts and the union says many of its members in the affected region say they will reap even worse-than-expected produce this autumn. Mandla Buthelezi, Nafu’s vice-president, said on Wednesday that the armyworm outbreak could not have come at a worse time. "We are in the midst of one of the most severe droughts, which is continuously killing animals and crops alike. Now farmers have to endure dealing with fall armyworm, which is spreading like wildfire. The fall armyworm eats away at vegetation and has been described as a threat to food security. It was first detected in Zimbabwe and Mozambique a few weeks ago, then spread to parts of Gauteng and Limpopo and now at least five provinces are believed to be affected. Rural areas and farms...

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