Stalk borer outbreak hits Central Malawi

Malawi’s main forex earner, tobacco, is at risk following a Stalk borer outbreak which has left some tobacco fields completely damaged.

Officials from TAMA Farmers Trust confirmed the development to YFM online after conducting a crop inspection visit to a number of tobacco fields in Bwanje area, Ntcheu District.

TAMA Farmers Trust communications officer Sam Kalimba said a visit by the organization, which was led by its president, Abiel Kalima Banda, revealed that crops in some of the fields have been completely damaged by the worm.

Kalimba said: “I can confirm that tobacco leaf has been attacked by stalk borer and one of areas which we have witnessed is Ntcheu Bwanje area where, for instance, we came across a more than one acre field which has been severely attacked by the worm and the owner will yield nothing from it.”

He also said apart from Ntcheu they have also received a report that some fields in Kasungu have also been affected by the worm.

Following the development the organization has expressed fear that more farmers are likely to make losses and those operating on contract with the buyers are at risk of failing to repay their loans.

Kalima therefore pleaded with the companies who are on contract with farmers to consider their members who are affected.

He said taking into account the current level which the crops have reached, the only solution is to kill the worms physically.

Kalima further expressed surprise that although chemicals were applied but the worms have resisted.

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