The Zambian Ministry of Agriculture has started distributing early maturing maize seed to help farmers hit by fall army worms to recoup their losses.
Farmers in the Copperbelt was among the first recipients of 10 tonnes of the early maturing seed. Provincial permanent secretary reverend Howard Sikwela said the seed would be given to the farmers at no cost.
“We have received a thousand 10kg bags of early maturing maize seed and its distribution to affected farmers is already underway,” said Sikwela.
About 172, 000 ha of an estimated 1,4 million ha planted under maize have been affected by army worms in all 10 provinces.
The Zambian Minister of Agriculture, Dora Siliya, announced this week that government would be distributing 50 000 kg of early maturing seed to help farmers recover from losses suffered due to army worms and stalk borers.
The distribution of early maturing seed was among the various interventions government had put in place to ensure that Zambia remained food-secure despite the army worms setback.
The government also sprayed affected areas with pesticides and coordinated with neighbouring Malawi and Zimbabwe to improve surveillance of new outbreaks.