28 February 2019

Malawi: Government Combats Fall Army Worm

Lilongwe — Malawi Government says through the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has managed to eradicate the Fall Army worm outbreaks in the 2018-2019 farming season.

The fall army worm, which has been so destructive to the staple grain-maize, affected three districts of Salima, Balaka and Chikwawa.

Speaking at a press conference at Capital Hill in Lilongwe Tuesday, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Honourable Joseph Mwanamveka said government has implemented an initiative to fight the outbreak which has been a nightmare for many years.

"Over the years, fall army worm has been destroying crops. As such, government has introduced the fall army worm management whereby over 25,000 litres of pesticides were acquired and distributed to all districts in the country," said Mwanamveka.

The minister added that the fall army worm outbreaks in Malawi have also been minimised not only by the pesticides but also the heavy rainfall that the country has received since November last year.

"Research has shown that heavy rainfall has a negative impact on the life cycle of fall army worms because they hardly incubate in such conditions," he said.

According to the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS), most areas in Malawi received between 400-800 mm which is average to above average rainfall amounts.

The department further projects that Malawi will continue experiencing good rainfall pattern up to April 2019, which entails that army worm outbreaks will still be in check.

"We will continue receiving heavy rainfall in the coming three months, according to predictions. This means we do not have to worry because the probability of the fall army worm resurfacing is very low," said Mwanamvekha.

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