Army worms contained says government


By Davis Mulenga | 10 January 2017
Market Outlook; Zambia, fall army worm
Workers on farmer Mike Mtonga's farm in Zambia spraying against army worms. Mtonga posted the picture on Facebook.

The government, last week, initiated an emergency pesticide spray operation to halt the advance of army worms. The pest infested more than 100 000ha of maize lands. The spray operation is reported to have successfully controlled the pest.

Patrick Kangwa, co-ordinator of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) said the government’s effort had limited the spread of the invading worms. “There is no need to panic,” said Kangwa, “because measures put in place to contain the outbreak have started bearing fruit. Our reports have confirmed that the number of fields affected by the army worms has not increased since the emergency operation started last week.”

‘There is no need to panic’

The army worms have affected six of Zambia’s 10 provinces with large tracts of maize lands overrun by army worms. The dire situation forced president Edgar lungu to order an emergency operation.

According to the DMMU, a total of 16 000 litres of pesticide have been sprayed onto 115 000ha of maize lands.