Stalk borer decimates 2 500 hectares of maize in northern Zambia

stalk borer

The northern parts of Zambia have been hit by a fresh attack of stalk borer which invaded 2 500 hectares of maize fields. The area most affected is Kaputa district, Northern Province, where the maize crop was attacked from the cobs.

“This is the second attack this month. We tackled an earlier attack with the help of 400 litres of chemicals provided by government,” said Mulenga Fube, district commissioner.

According to him, the latest attack threatened the harvest, as the pest attacked the cobs. He says reduced rainfall since last month contributed to farmers’ panic.

Zambia and other southern African countries this season suffered attacks of crop pests such as stalk borer, army worm and red locust. In Zambia, 124 000 hectares were attacked by army worm. Zimbabwe was hardest hit, with up to 130 000 hectares of maize infested.

This prompted the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to issue a warning that the crop pest outbreak could put Southern Africa’s food security at risk.

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