Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Govt reacts to armyworm outbreak

Govt reacts to armyworm outbreak

armywormPetros Zivengwa Herald Reporter
Government has started distributing chemicals to spray armyworms countrywide as efforts to control the pest intensify, an official said yesterday.In an interview, Plant Protection Research Services Institute deputy director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Dr Godfrey Chikwenhere said they had already started distributing chemicals in all the country’s provinces.

“We have started distributing chemicals countrywide and we have enough chemicals in stock. Government has assisted us with about $45 000 to buy chemicals and protective clothing,” he said

“We have Deltamethrin and Cypermethrin used to control armyworms in pasture grasses because they are less toxic to livestock. We also have Karate and Carbaryl to spray in maize and other crops because they have a long residual effect.”

He said that so far the outbreak had been recorded in ‘traditional’ areas such as Muzarabani, Mbire and Mt Darwin and that farmers from other provinces should not panic once they noticed the outbreak.

He urged the farmers to report the outbreaks promptly.

Dr Chikwenhere said the department had started some outreach programmes to curb the outbreaks in Mbire and Muzarabani. He urged farmers to work hand in hand with extension workers and Agritex officers to ensure that the pest did not threaten food security.

Last year, the pest destroyed large hectares of maize and sorghum in Moshonaland Central province particularly in Mbire district.

Armyworm is a migratory pest that affects crops and pastures during the rain season.

The worms move in large numbers and can destroy large hectares of crops in a short period of time.


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