Early Planting Contains Fall Armyworm – Agriculturalist

The fall armyworm has raised havoc in the country in recent years, affecting the crop harvest The fall armyworm has raised havoc in the country in recent years, affecting the crop harvest - file photo

An expert in agriculture, Tamani Nkhono Mvula, says early planting could help containing Fall Armyworms that have raised havoc in the country in recent years.

Mvula’s remarks come as advice to farmers as rainy season draws closer.

“Challenges of fall army worms usually come during end January and February. Whenever the maize crop is a bit mature by that time, much of the crop survive. My advice is that early planting is very important,” he said.

“Farmers have tried different types of traditional methods but most of these have not been working because there is a cycle for fall armyworms where chemical cannot work or can work,” he said.

Nkhono added that “when the farmers observe that their crop is being attacked, they should report quickly to relevant authorities such as extension workers so that proper scientific advice in terms of what chemical to use and any other measure need to be taken.”

Agriculture minister, Kondwani Nankhumwa, says government is ready to face the pest this farming year. 

“We are calling for tenders for purchase of pesticides that are needed for us to get rid of the fall armyworms and any other pests in as far as this year’s farming season is concerned,” Nankhumwa said.

“When you look at private sector, companies that deal with agriculture have also come up with their own initiatives and are already selling pesticides to deal with fall armyworms and other pesticides,” he said.

Countries in the southern Africa have fallen prey to Fall Armyworms as they are looking for lasting solution to contain the pest.

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