Army worms spread to Eastern province

Tue, 03 Jan 2017 07:27:59 +0000

 

BY CHIKUMBI KATEBE

ARMYWORMS have spread to Eastern Province with Mambwe and Nyimba districts already confirmed as being affected by the dreadful pests.

Ministry of Agriculture permanent secretary Julius Shawa confirmed in an interview with the Daily nation that the pests which have invaded the entire Copperbelt Province, Central and Lusaka Provinces, have now been detected in two districts in Eastern Province, although an assessment of the severity was yet to be done.

Mr Shawa said Government was doing everything possible to cartel the invasion of the dreadful pests, which seem to dodge the securities put in place.

“What we have in Lusaka are what we call fore-worms, but we have also received reports in Eastern Province, specifically Nyimba and Mambwe districts where he worms have also surfaced.

“We do not have much details about the Eastern invasion but our officers on the ground are still carrying out assessments and we await a comprehensive report on it soon,” he said.

He explained that with the President’s intervention, the Government through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) were working with the Ministry to prevent further destruction to farmers in view of the 20116/2017 farming season.

And some farmers in Lusaka East have reported that the worms have destroyed most of their crops in the area as they awaited Government intervention.

Zambia Direct Democracy Movement (ZDDM) president Edwin Sakala, who is a farmer in the area explained that most maize fields were under attack and required urgent attention to protect some harvest.

“Unlike the worm on the Copperbelt which is a very visible small caterpillar moving around the field, the presence of the worm in Lusaka can only be noticed by the extensive damage it is leaving on the crop.

“I send out this alert because it has just come to my attention that nearly all of my fellow farmers in New Kasama are facing the same problem,” he said.

He said the farmers acquired some pesticides which have since failed to yield the required results hence the appeal for the Ministry of Agriculture to urgently address the situation before it gets out of hand.

DMMD is however scheduled to make a statement tomorrow on the state of the nation over the armyworms invasion.

 

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