Monday, 2 January 2017

Army Worms Destroy 3,000 Hectares Of Maize In Lufwanyama

 By Paul Shalala in Lufwanyama
Lufwanyama District Commissioner Miniver Mtesa spraying

Over 3,000 hectares of maize have been destroyed by army worms in Lufwanyama District on the Copperbelt.

This has made Lufwanyama the worst hit district in the province so far.

A check by this blogger in Kakonge area this morning found farmers surveying the damage.

And Lufwanyama District Agricultural Coordinator Aswell Lubungo says the 3,000 hectares affected by army worms are just from the farms surveyed so far.

Mr Lubungo says due to the vastness of the district, not all farmers can be reached to asses the extent of the damage.

Lufwanyama is a mostly rural district and its believed to be the second largest in the country after Mpika.

"Lufwanyama is the most affected district on the Copperbelt. 3,000 hectares have been invaded by army worms, affecting 600 households," said Mr Lubungo.
John Bwalya explaining to farmers how to use the chemicals

He disclosed that farmers were worried with the outbreak.

Meanwhile, Lufwanyama District Commissioner Miniver Mtesa has started distributing chemicals to farmers as the fight against the pests intensifies.

This morning, she gave away chemicals to farmers in Mikuta area.

"We have received over 400 liters of pesticides which we are distributing to farmers. Government wants to ensure that we fight the army worms and reduce chances of a bad harvest," said Ms Mtesa in an interview.

Meanwhile, agricultural experts have embarked on a district-wide sensitization campaign.
Aswell Lubungo sensitizing the farmers in Kakonge village

"This chemical is called sword and it has 500 milliliters. When mixing with a 200 liters drum, you only use 400 milliliters because it is highly concentrated," said John Bwalya, an agricultural assistant who was found in the middle of a sensitization meeting in Kakonge village.

And some farmers spoken to expressed fear that the army worms will affect this year's yield.

"Farmers like me who are not married depend on farming for our livelihood. We send our children to school and feed dependents from money we raise in the fields. Now with these army worms, we don't know how we will survive," said Sharon Mubambe, a 24 year old farmer of Kakonge village.

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