Armyworms invasion halted in Eastern Province

The Zambia National Farmers Union says the reported outbreak of an armyworms invasion is under control and further action to eradicate possible threats has been put in place around the country.

ZNFU media liaison officer Kingsley Kaswende said recent reports of possible army worms’ invasion in some parts of Eastern Province has been contained and efforts to avoid them spreading have been put in place around the affected farms.

“The army worms were reported in Kalichelo and Munukwa camps of Chiparamba and Chitandika blocks respectively.

“The army worms have since been contained by Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock staff and ZNFU has since initiated announcements on two community radio stations in the area to raise awareness on the army worm and to keep farmers on alert,” he said.

Mr Kaswende said this in response to a press inquiry on the levels of preparedness of farmers against the reported army worms invasion in the country.

He said the farmers union received a report from farmers in two agricultural blocks of Chipata early last week of army worms that had invaded some farms.

Mr Kaswende said some farmers in Munukwa camp area were under attack from the worm, which caused damage to about 10 percent of the maize crop, while nine farmers were affected in Kalichelo camp, where about 20 hectares of maize was destroyed.

The farmers have been advised to be attentive and report the presence of the worms on their farms immediately they spot them to the district agriculture coordinator’s office or the ZNFU offices around the region.

Last year, the Government had a tough time dealing with the army worms that invaded most parts of the country, destroying thousands of Kwacha worth of crop.

Most parts of the country experienced an unprecedented invasion of army worms that destroyed crops in about five provinces of Zambia and posed a threat to the harvest.

Several farmers were affected in Southern, Lusaka, Central and Eastern provinces.

Farmers have been urged to be on the lookout for any suspicious looking insects which could destroy their crops and affect yields in the next crop marketing season of 2015/16 next year.