AN outbreak of armoured bush crickets is threatening yields of traditional grains and maize in parts of Mhangura District, Mashonaland West Province.

Farmers in Mhangura’s Ward 11 have raised the red flag, saying the outbreak was threatening food security as the rampaging armoured bush crickets were set to decimate hundreds of hectares of crops.

One farmer, Ishmael Munangwa, who had his hectare of rapoko destroyed by the pest, said the crickets were attacking his five-hectare field of maize that he produced under the Command Agriculture scheme.

He implored Agritex officers to assist farmers in time for the nation to avoid plunging into famine.

Although the damage caused by the armoured crickets was so far reported to be minimal, there were concerns the outbreak could go out of hand if there were no serious efforts to contain them in time.