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Matebeleland South under armyworm attack

by Staff reporter
22 Jan 2021 at 06:33hrs | Views
FARMERS in Matabeleland South fear a reduced harvest following an outbreak of the fall armyworm that is causing massive damage to crops especially the late planted ones.

The fall armyworm has reportedly affected 20 to 30 percent of crops in the province, a development that has sent farmers into panic and raised fears that hundreds of hectares of maize could be destroyed if appropriate measures are not taken.

Matabeleland South Acting Provincial Agricultural officer, Mr Mkhunjulelwa Ndlovu said: "Fall armyworm is just a stubborn pest, it is becoming a serious threat especially the late planted crop which is at post emergence and vegetative stages'', he said.

He urged farmers to purchase the chemicals recommended to control the fall armyworm and also consult Agritex officers for assistance. He said effective control needs full scouting and understanding of the behaviour of the pest.

Farmers are urged to control the pest during the early days of its life to reduce the rate of recurrence.

"I advise farmers to purchase the chemical and consult extension officers for assistance and guidance in terms of calibration to avoid over and under application of the chemical'', he said.

Due to the excessive rains being experienced in the country, spraying the crops becomes a challenge to farmers.

"We appeal to chemical manufacturing companies to quickly supply farmers with chemicals," said Mr Ndlovu.

In 2017, an outbreak of fall army worm hit Arda Ingwizi Estate in Matabeleland South where a yield of about 4 500 tonnes of maize was expected.

Source - chronicle
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