An outbreak of fall armyworms has hit some parts of Zambia, threatening agricultural produce, a government official said Wednesday.
Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary Green Mbozi said the ministry has since written to the Ministry of Finance requesting funds to address the outbreak.
He said that so far two provinces — Copperbelt and North-Western — have experienced the outbreak out of the country’s 10 provinces, Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, the state broadcaster, quoted him as saying.
He described the situation in the two provinces as bad and required urgent attention to contain the outbreak.
Copperbelt Agriculture Officer Obvious Kabinda told the state broadcaster that more than 6,942 farmers in the province have been impacted by the outbreak.
The government has since partnered with stakeholders such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to fight the worms, he said.
The National Agriculture Information Services (NAIS), a state-run agency specialized in agriculture reporting, said Tuesday that fall armyworms have invaded fields in Kafue District in Lusaka Province. The agency quoted Kafue District Senior Agriculture Officer Cosmas Chola as saying that 120 hectares of maize fields have so far been affected.
Fall armyworms also hit the southern African nation last year.
Minister of Agriculture Reuben Phiri said then that the country had in the last 10 years experienced outbreaks of fall armyworms in seven agricultural seasons. Enditem