By Alex Charlie
Agriculture expert in Malawi Tamani Nkhono-Mvula has warned the Malawi government that if there are no lasting solutions to contain the situation of army-worms in the country, there will be a continued threat to the country’s food security.
According to Nkhono-Mvula, there is need to quickly contain the situations as the worms have become a challenge to farmers in most of the districts in the country.
“There is need for quick intervention on the pests which if not checked may lead to reduction the yields and consequently render Malawi to be food-insecure,” he said.
Mvula went on to add that as preventive measure, “farmers need to be sensitized to understand the life cycle of the pests as this will help them apply the best method of control”.
According to agriculture expert some districts have been absolutely affected and those districts there is need to replant.
However Mvula has urged the Ministry of Agriculture to distribute pesticides to farmers early as one way of containing the problem.
This year, government set aside K500 million to manage the pests, the money was meant to buy chemicals and train as well as bring awareness to farmers on how they can monitor, detect and manage the pest.
According to the ministry of agriculture fall armyworms have so far destroyed 144 000 hectares of crops, affecting 467 000 farmers in all agricultural development divisions (ADDs) nationwide.
Meanwhile this year the hardest-hit areas which were affected by fall armyworms are Chikwawa, Salima, Nkhotakota, Machinga and Phalombe.