KETRA KALUNGA writes
A KABWE based farmer has appealed to the government to find a lasting solution to the army worms that have for about three farming seasons been affecting crop production in the country.
Maxwell Hiboompo of the Mpima Dairy Farm area said farmers countrywide had been losing a lot of resources in terms of farming inputs and money used to buy the chemicals to mitigate the effect of the army worms on the crop.
That was besides the resources spent on land preparation, buying of seed and fertiliser.
Mr Hiboompo urged the Ministry of Agriculture to come up with a more effective chemical that would wipe out the army worms so that farmers could once again maximise their crop production.
“Army worms are a difficult issue because we have not come to a real chemical which can wipe them out.
“I am saying so because if a spray today worms will be killed but not all of them. We need a chemical which can be used to spray in the field this year so that next season we don’t experience this problem.
We are losing a lot,” Mr Hiboompo said.
He is one of the farmers who have been benefiting from the One Acre Fund programme of providing smallholder farmers with financing.
The service is offered on credit, which includes training to improve crop production.
Mr Hiboompo said since joining the programme in the 2017/2018 farming season, his crop production had improved and he had managed to build a house, bought some farming implements and sent his children to school.
He collected about 86 bags of basal and top dressing fertiliser on about 15 hectares of maize for this year’s farming season.
Mr Hiboompo said if the rains continued up to March, he was expected to harvest about 1,200 bags of maize for the 2019/2020 farming season.
Mr Hiboompo is the chairperson of the 11-member Lusumpuko Farm Group in Kizito area in the Mpima Dairy Farm area, which has about 27 groups under the care of One Acre Fund.
The fund has since 2006 been providing services to over 19,000 farmers in Zambia to supplement Government’s efforts in improving agricultural production.
KETRA KALUNGA writes