Govt moves in to avert the spread of African fall army worm

By ZBC Reporter
GOVERNMENT has deployed experts and distributed chemicals in Midlands Province to contain the spread of the African fall army worm.
The African fall army worm detected in Gweru rural, Somabhula, Zvishavane, Mberengwa and Shurugwi districts early last week had become major source of concern with livestock pastures and crops being affected, amid fears that they could spread to other parts of the country in a short space of time.
However, according to Midlands Provincial Agronomist, Mr Innocent Dzuke, the army worm could be contained by end of this week following government’s timely intervention.
“Things are beginning to move smoothly. We have teams on the ground in affected areas as I am speaking to you now. Judging from what has been reported to this office, I can safely say we have received more than enough carbaryl chemicals to cover the affected areas. We are appealing to farmers to report any outbreak of such worms as early as possible so that we contain the spread of such insects,” said Mr Dzuke.
He also said there is need to put in place preventive measures to curtail future outbreaks of the pest as it has become perennial problem.
“As you might recall, the outbreak of these insects is not new to the province. We once had similar problems in the previous season and all this can be avoided if we can deal with them at an earlier stage. We just need to know the areas usually affected and we deal with the worms at the lava stage through spraying the right chemicals. We need to be vigilant and it takes cooperation between farmers and Agritex officers together with other relevant stakeholders,” said Mr Dzuke.
The African fall army-worm which was first discovered in Brazil, multiplies quickly and is so deadly that once it strikes, it can destroy a hectare of pastures and crops within a day.