GLORIA KANGWA writes
SOLWEZI district has come under fierce attack from armyworms which are destroying crops from fields, North Western provincial minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu has confirmed.
Mr Mubukwanu said the invasion was in its third year in the district’s farming seasons.
During a field visit to Kamitonte Sub-Chief Mutumba Kayamba’s field, Mr Mubukwanu told the provincial agriculture coordinator officer (PACO) Derrick Simukanzye that there was need for the ever attacking worms to be fought.
“Our province is fortunate enough because we don’t experience high drought conditions, our fields are beautifully blooming but the manifestation and attack of the worm is a reminder to ourselves as Government and farmers that army worms are becoming part of our farming seasons.
“Our food security levels as a country could be affected because our province is the food basket therefore adequate information to our farmers on how they can sustain themselves towards this infestations so they can educate their children because it is a business venture too was important”, he added.
The minister said research on how the manifestation and securing of unaffected crop once and for all and put an end to the attacks was needed adding that planning ahead after all the experiences would be the way forward.
He further urged PACO to consider finding other inter crops that would make the worm uncomfortable instead of only depending on pesticides.
Senior field crop officer Shadrick Mubanga said that the crop at the its lava stage was receiving nimacidine pesticide spray which was acting as a repellent and that when the aroma spread around the field it would avoid hatching.
He said the infestation rate which was at four percent has had a chemical that was an environmentally friendly bio pesticide given to every farmer that reported of the attack.
“The measures put in place are that all the given input seed were treated and , farmers also took to putting charcoal ash or soil in the crop core to avoid the manifestation and also maize is the preferred home so a variety of crops grown has the insect uncomfortable to stay”, he said.
Farmers present at the visit thanked government for the early delivery of the inputs and later bid to help fellow farmers that faced the manifestation of the army worms.