Army worms reported in 18 districts – Wina
By Staff Reporter
Acting President Inonge Wina says 18 districts countrywide have reported the presence of army worms with 44,322 farmers affected covering about 34,000 hectares of land.
Wina said government had set aside K18.6 million in the 2019 national budget for control and management of army worms.
“The African development bank has committed US$3 million for purchase of chemicals used in combating the pests and so far, 41,666 litres of chemicals worth US$500,000 have been procured,” she said.
Wina said in order to quicken the control of army worms, government was also working with institutions such as the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the United States Agency for International Development who are providing financial and technical support.
She added that government was liaising with other SADC member states, especially neighbouring countries that were affected during the 2016/2017 outbreak.
“In particular, FAO has developed a system that has linked all SADC member states, Zambia inclusive, thereby enabling countries to share information and to track the spread of the army worms in a timely manner. Researchers are also at work to determine how army worms can be managed and controlled using recommended chemicals,” she said.
Wina further said that government through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit under the office of the Vice-President, was activating the call centre where farmers could obtain information on how to reduce the threats of further outbreaks.