JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (ADV) – Army worms have invaded Zambia pausing a threat to 44,322 farmers covering about 34,000 hectares of land.
This information came to light through the office of the acting President Inonge Wina who said 18 districts countrywide have reported the presence of army worms.
Wina disclosed that government has set aside K18.6 million in the 2019 national budget for control and management of army worms.
Recently, the African development bank committed US$3 million for purchase of chemicals used in combating the pests and so far, 41,666 litres of chemicals worth US$500,000 which have been procured.
“In order to quicken the control of army worms, government is also working with institutions such as the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the United States Agency for International Development who are providing financial and technical support towards control and management of the army worms,” said Wina.
She also mentioned that the government is liaising with SADC Member States, especially neighbouring countries that were affected during the 2016/2017 outbreak.
“In particular, FAO has developed a system that has linked all SADC member states, Zambia inclusive, thereby enabling countries to share information and to track the spread of the army worms in a timely manner.”
She added that researchers are also at work to determine how army worms can be managed and controlled using recommended chemicals.
Further, Mrs. Wina said government through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit under the office of the Vice President, is activating the call centre where farmers can obtain information on how to reduce the threats of further outbreaks.
She has since urged all farmers and the general public to remain calm, and take measures to control army worms as a shared responsibility with government and its partners further assuring that government is working hard to distribute chemicals to all the provincial headquarters.
© Bur-JHB – B.M / M.C – African Daily Voice (ADV) – Follow us on Twitter : @ADVinfo_en