18 December 2012

Zambia: State Starts Maize Seed Distribution

Government will today start distributing K15 billion worth of maize seed to farmers whose crops have been destroyed by Army worms.

Agriculture and Livestock Minis!ter Emmanuel Chenda said Government would start distributing about 2,000 tonnes of seed free of charge to the areas which had been attacked by Army worms.

"The comfort is that we have a bit of time, planting time, so Government will assist all farmers by giving them free seed and arrangements have been made," Mr Chenda said.

The minister said because of spraying, there was less damage to the plants and that Army worms had started burrowing into the ground and would soon turn into moths then fly away.

Mr Chenda was responding to questions from journalists when he officiated at the opening of a new ZAMBEEF Master Pork processing plant.

He said the Army worms would also affect livestock production in the next two years as they had negatively ravaged the pasture areas thus describing the outbreak as serious.

He said the country had never faced an outbreak of such a magnitude.

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