Stalk borers are causing maize farmers even more headaches, attacking more than 500 hectares of maize lands in Central and Muchinga provinces.
Central province’s Mumbwa District Commissioner Felix Ndopu and his Muchinga’s Luwingu counterpart Patrick Chanda confirmed the latest development.
“So far more than 500 hectares of the land in the district has been invaded by the pest,” Ndopu told africanfarming.com. “I’m appealing to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) to fast-track the delivery of pesticides to Mumbwa.”
Ndopu explained that while Mumbwa had not been attacked by the army worms that wreaked havoc in other areas, the scale of the stalk borer problem was alarming. “We have reports coming every day from farmers, even in isolated areas,” he said.
The stalk borers have also hit Luwingu, up north in Muchinga, affecting tens of hectares. “At least 17 farmers have been affected by stalk borers across hectares of land,” Chanda said.
The Zambian government has released ZMW 30 million to procure pesticides to fight both army worms and stalk borers. The DMMU has indicated the advance of the army worms that had affected six of Zambia’s 10 provinces had been halted. The DMMU has also urged farmers nationwide to be on the alert and report incidences of stalk borers and new army worm attacks.