The Zambian government says only 10% of the maize lands attacked by army worm needs to be replanted, reinforcing expert predictions of a bumper harvest. This despite setbacks suffered due to pests.
The ministry of agriculture says army worm is now under control and measures are in place to prevent a new outbreak. “We have distributed early maturing maize seed to the farmers who needed re-planting. To be precise, only 10% of maize fields needed replanting,” said Peter Lungu, director in the ministry of agriculture.
The Zambian Minister of Agriculture was distributing 50 000 kg of early maturing seed to help farmers recover from losses suffered due to the outbreak of army worm and stalk borer. This is among various interventions government implemented to ensure Zambia remained food-secure.
‘Only 10% of maize fields needed replanting’
Government also sprayed affected areas with pesticide and coordinated with neighbouring Malawi and Zimbabwe to improve surveillance of new outbreaks. Lungu said government’s timely response helped save nearly all maize fields.
He said the use of un-prescribed chemicals didn’t affect crop growth, but still advised farmers to resist using such chemicals.
“Government will have the prescribed pesticides available to ensure there is no panic in the event of another outbreak.”