Fall Armyworms Attack 7950 Hectares in Thyolo

Grant says the attacks are severe Grant says the attacks are severe -picture:Luka Beston

Agriculture authorities in Thyolo say the fall armyworms have attacked 7, 950 hectares of crops in the district.

Chief agriculture officer, Mirriam Ndlovu, has told Zodiak Online on Thursday that this represents 15 percent infestation rate of 53, 000 hectares of arable land in the district.

Ndlovu has reported that the fall armyworms have attacked crops in all six Extension Planning Areas (EPAs) of Dwale, Khonjeni, Masambanjati, Thekelani, Thyolo central and Matapwata.

However, Ndlovu says they have already encouraged farmers to physically kill and use local remedies to counter the perennial insects, adding that 1, 000 litres of pesticides have been distributed to all the Extension Planning Areas (EPAs).

"As of now we are at 15 percent infestation rate which is representing 7950 hectares out of 53 hectares of arable land in the district", she documented.

An agriculture expert, Ronald Chilumpha, believes the early distribution of pesticides and selling or distribution of already treated seeds to farmers would help to deal with the perennial problem which has a bearing to the country’s food security.

"One important remedy is where the seed is treated before it is planted. There are such products available and released for use in Malawi", Chilumpha tipped.

One of the farmers under Matapwata EPA, John Grant, says the attacks are severe, calling on the government to swiftly come in with pesticides.

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