By Elvis Milambo
An Army worm outbreak has hit Nyimba district in the eastern province due to an extended dry spell among farmers that planted their maize crop in November,2023. District Agricultural Coordinator Mwaaba Lubasi confirmed the outbreak of army worms in Mchimadzi and Kamono agricultural camps, saying urgent action is required to curb army worms to prevent significant yield loss in 2024.
Evans Siankolonga, as mall holder farmer in Mchimadzi, says army worms have infested over two hectares of his maize crop and called on government to assist farmers with chemicals to curb army worms to avoid exacerbating food insecurity next year. “We urgently need government assistance through the ministry of agriculture so that we avoid crop loss due to army worms. If we lose our maize to army worms, there will be hunger next year. The neighbouring farm is also infested with army worms,” said Mr. Siankolonga.
Senior Agricultural Officer (SAO) Golden Kunda Nkasabanya said camp officers in all the 24 camps are collecting data on the extent of army worm infestation in order to come up with total hectarage of affected fields in the entire district. “We have seven hectares of maize fields that are infested with army worms in Mchimadzi camp and three hectares of maize crop for Kamono camp. So far a total of 10 hectares of maize fields have been infested with fall army worms and our farmers urgently need chemicals to spray their fields,” said the SAO.
Nyimba Crop Husbandry Officer, Frank Kalulu says the district will require about one thousand ,five hundred (1,500) litres of Cyper methrine or Emactin Benzoate to effectively contain fall army worm outbreaks in the district.