20 December 2012

Zambia: Relief for 'Army Worms' Victims

Pannar Seed Zambia limited has donated 58 tonnes of maize seed worth about K754 million to the Office of the Vice-President to be distributed to farmers in 40 districts whose crops were destroyed by army worms.

Pannar Seed managing director William Rutherford Smith was hopeful that the affected farmers would utilise the early maturing seed to replant their fields.

He presented the seed to Vice-President Guy Scott in Lusaka yesterday.

"We are grateful to present this donation to your office and we are confident that the affected farmers will use this early maturing seed to replant in their affected fields," he said.

Mr Smith said the company had since recalled some of its workers who had gone on Christmas holidays to help in the production of the seed that would be distributed to the affected areas.

And Dr Scott said the Government was working hard to ensure that all the affected farmers received adequate early-maturing seed to replant their fields.

The Vice-President said the Government would ensure that the army worms were monitored countrywide.

"The army worms are spreading but we are also ensuring that the affected farmers are provided with early maturing seed," he said.

Earlier, Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) national coordinator Patrick Kangwa said the affected districts were being availed with seed.

Chongwe Member of Parliament Sylvia Masebo said her constituency was among several areas in the country in which the army worms had caused destruction.

Ms Masebo praised the Office of the Vice-President and DMMU for their swift action, adding that Chongwe was an important producer of maize in the country.

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