12 December 2012

Zambia: Army Worms Spread South

Photo: MAO
A technician sprays insecticides.

ARMY worms which were first detected in Chibombo, Chisamba and Chongwe districts have spread to the Southern Province and parts of Lusaka.

Agriculture Permanent Secretary Siakalenge Siazongo confirmed that the worms had been detected in Kafue, Sinazongwe and Monze districts.

The Armyworms travel in small insect armies and consume everything in their path.

They are most active at night and hide under garden debris during the day and consume plants rapidly.

Mr Siazongo said Vice -President Guy Scott will today hold a meeting with stakeholders who include some Cabinet ministers, the Zambia National Farmers Union, the International Red Locust (IRL) and officers from the ministry of agriculture to discuss the issue.

"The situation is not looking good, but we are working flat out to ensure that the armyworms are contained," he said.

Mr Siazongo said his ministry was already working with farmers who were being encouraged to spray their crops with Cyper Methrin commonly known as 'Guru.'

He said farmers have also been asked to dig trenches around their fields so that the armyworms do not move from the grass to the fields.

Mr Siazongo said the ministry has asked for reinforcement from the IRL which was spraying the fields.

The worms have affected farms in Mpima farm bloc in Kabwe and Kasengo ward in Chikankata District of Southern Province.

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