African Armyworms Hit Neno
Agriculture authorities in Neno district say two villages of Kanono and Tchenga have been affected by an African Armyworm outbreak that has so far affected 33 hectors of rain fed maize fields.
Neno District Principal Agriculture Officer Mayamiko Diana Zambezi told us today that the affected fields belong to 134 farmers for the 2022/23 agricultural growing season.
Zambezi says the first detection of the African Armyworms was on 5th and 6th of December by the Lisungwi Extension Planning Area team after farmers around Matope complained to it about the worms.
"Our assessment has established that 120 farmers from Kanono and 14 from Ntchenga had their crops severely affected by the worms and need urgent application of Snowmectin pesticide, beside seeds for replanting", she said.
To combat the outbreak, the agriculture office says "we have intensified sensitization campaigns to enable farmers to report detection of pests of economic damage."
One farmer at Matope, Elias Kamoto, told us that his crops have been completely damaged by the worms with a call for authorities to swiftly assist him with new farm inputs such as seeds and fertilizer.
"I have used all I reserved for buying inputs and we hope our authorities will assist us so that we don't miss this farming season", he sounded.
Meanwhile, the Blantyre ADD which Neno falls under, is lobbying for more support to Neno district council after it distributed the pesticides for immediate application.