As the 2019/2020 farming season is underway, the department of agriculture in Zomba district says all measures are in place in readiness for any possible attack by fall armyworms.
Crops officer for Zomba District Agriculture Office, Josiah Ngochera, said although fall armyworms are still pausing a threat to crops, but the district has already distributed chemicals to all its nine Extension Planning Areas (EPAs) in readiness to combat the worm.
He also admitted that fall armyworms have been a challenge which the department of agriculture has struggled to contain for a long period of time.
Ngochera said: “We can’t shun away from a threat of fall army worms and indeed it’s a challenge that has been there for a long period of time now, but this year as a district through the ministry of agriculture we are prepared and all our nine EPAs have been equipped with chemicals to fight the worm if they emerge.”
He further advised farmers to urgently report to the agriculture advisors if they come across any signs of strange armyworms for assistance.
However, Ngochera expressed optimism that this year his office is not expecting to register more cases as the past.
Fall armyworms are regarded as a pest and can damage and destroy a wide variety of crops, which causes large economic damage.
During the previous farming season in Zomba district, fall armyworms damaged 12, 042 hectares of crops a situation which affected 42, 862.