FAW Destroy 368, 000 Ha of Maize
As has been the case with the past three consecutive farming seasons in South and Central African countries, this farming season Fall Armyworm (FAW) have also affected maize crop within the region.
For example in Malawi, spokesperson for the country’s Ministry of Agriculture Gracian Lungu said at least 368, 000 hectares of maize have been affected by fall army worms raising fears of poor harvests to over 700, 000 families across the country.
Lungu said the worst hit districts are Mzimba North and Rumphi in the north, Salima, Nkhotakota and Ntchisi in the centre and in the south the worms have affected Machinga, Mangochi, Balaka, Neno, Mulanje, Thyolo, Chikwawa and Nsanje.
“So far the ministry has distributed 16, 000 litres of deltamethylin, the chemical that kills fall army worms to all Agricultural Development Divisions across the country,” said Lungu.
In Mulanje, Director of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources at Mulanje district council Yaz Nyirenda told Zodiak Online that most farmers are killing the worms using physical, indigenous and cultural methods.
“Apart from fall army worms that have affected 16, 961 hectares of maize here in Mulanje, dry spell has also affected 21, 000 hectares of maize and this has affected 60, 000 farm families,” he said.
One of the affected farmers Janet Chadzolokera from Makoloma village in Mulanje told said that her maize crop has wilted permanently.
Experts attribute both dry spells and fall army worms to climate change.