Arusha. Researchers at the Tropical Pesticides Research Institute (TPRI) have identified six types of pesticides which can effectively a recently identified armyworm now threatening the crop fields.

This followed a research on how to contain Fall Armyworm (FAW) or 'Spodoptera Frugiperda' which had been underway at the Arusha-based research centre since May last year.

The voracious pest can in a short span of time wipe out crop fields, especially maize, sorghum, wheat and other cereals, thereby  and impact on the country's food security.

A research scientist with TPRI Maneno Chedege said the pesticides recommended were Belt 480 Sc, Duduba 450 Ec, Emamectin Benzoate, Mupacron 50 Ec, Abamectin 5% and Lambda Cyhalothrin.

He said each pesticide has to be applied at a time and that farmers have been advised not to mix them as this, according to him, could lead to the pest developing resistance.

The armyworm in question (FAW) is believed to have been brought into the country from West Africa, especially Nigeria and Benin and was first detected in Tanzania in March last year.

TPRI acting director general Dr. Margreth J. Mollel told The Citizen that efforts were now directed in fighting the pest because it can ravage huge fields of the crops, especially the staple maize.

According to her, if not eliminated through the application of the pesticides, the armyworm can lead to a loss of over 80 per cent of the maize harvests, leading to critical food shortage.