text size: smaller reset larger

 

 

Zambia takes action to control army worm outbreak

The African armyworm is a major migratory crop pest over much of Eastern and Southern Africa (© MOA/Government of Liberia)
The African armyworm is a major migratory crop pest over much of Eastern and Southern Africa
© MOA/Government of Liberia

An outbreak of army worms has been brought under control in Zambia after extension officers were deployed to kill the pests by spraying affected areas with chemicals. Early maturing maize varieties, that take 110-130 days to mature, have also been provided to farmers to enable them to replant their crops and safeguard food production in the country.

Initial reports suggest that about 197,000 hectares of maize and 155,000 farming families had been affected. Three farm blocks in Nyimba District, for example, were said to have lost 80 per cent of their crops due to army worms. "The situation is very serious. It has affected most of our traditional maize-growing area," explained Zambia National Farmers' Union's (ZNFU) Colliard Hamusimbi to Voice of America. "A majority of the farmers who are affected are small-scale farmers who produce more than 90 percent of the national maize crop." Hamusimbi adds that while army worm outbreaks are rare in Zambia, the unusually high temperatures in November may have created a conducive environment.

To detect army worms and other pest outbreaks that could lead to food shortages in the future, the ZNFU has urged the Government to invest more in research, pest surveillance and extension services.

Date published: January 2013

 

Have your say

African governments usualy are reactive to environmental dis... (posted by: kasanda)

 

The New Agriculturist is a WRENmedia production.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.
Accept
Read more