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ROME, April 28 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The fall armyworm - which decimates fields as it marches ever forward - has spread to Angola as the caterpillar eats its way through southern Africa, a U.N. agency said.
With Angola the latest country affected, only Lesotho and island nations in the region have escaped the pest, which devours crops in its path, U.N. officials said. Its spread has undermined hopes for a better harvest this year, they added, with swathes of southern, eastern and western Africa infested.
"Now even Angola has confirmed (an outbreak)," said Joyce Mulila Mitti, a crop production and protection officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
In a statement, the FAO said it carried out a joint mission with the government that detected the caterpillar in four municipalities of the southern province of Huila, one of the country's main maize producing areas.
Another pest, known as the maize stem borer, was found in a fifth municipality.