23 May 2021.
Recent study shows that, Invasive species are costing African agriculture about $3.66 trillion per year. It equals to 1.5 times of the combined gross domestic product of all African countries.
- Researchers from Britain, Ghana, Kenya and Switzerland were estimating the annual economic hit because of invasive species to African agriculture.
- They studied open source and peer-reviewed literature on species which were not native to African continent.
- Researchers surveyed about 1,000 stakeholders including farmers, researchers and government officials regarding the financial implications of invasive species.
- Stakeholders were asked to estimate crop losses because of invasive alien species.
- Non-native species of weed, insect or worm can have catastrophic effects on farming as they are capable of reducing the yields of staple crops.
- The researchers also found that, there was variation among countries.
- Worst affected nation was Nigeria with the estimate loses of around $1 trillion annually due to invasive species.
- While, Democratic Republic of Congo incur the loss of $317 billion per year.
- It was found that, a moth known as Phthorimaea absoluta caused most of the losses.
- This moth affects tomato plants and incur an estimated cost of $11.4 billion each year.
- Other insects inflict about $21.5 billion worth of crop losses per year to mango, maize, cassava and citrus crops.