Emmah Chinyamutangira Farming Correspondent
Manicaland farmers have been warned to be wary of the threat posed by the African army worm, which has the potential to destroy cereal crops and posing a major threat to food security.
Manicaland provincial agronomist Mr Thomas Sakuhuni said farmers should make use of pest control measures ,to avoid the outbreak of African army worm which is usually experienced during cropping season.
“Farmers are preparing land and planting for 2019 season, I highly recommend them to adopt mitigating methods such as spraying to avoid crop damages. Trainings are ongoing, we are facilitating farmers on control measures of pests,” said Mr Sakuhuni.
He said the pest has the potential to cause considerable crop damage in some areas, threatening to reduce the expected production outlook for a particular year’s crop.
However some farmers applied pesticides commonly used on the familiar fall army worm or the stalk-borer, with little success.
“The African army worm is a real threat and it mostly attacks in cropped fields, pastures and veld areas. The usual hot spot districts are Chipinge, Mutasa, Marange and Makoni. These areas are bound to be affected, as the worm is easily spread through natural agents such as the wind.
“Now farmers have planted their crops, they must keep the lands free from weed and they should do it now before its rains,” he said.
He further urged farmers to be on guard against the fall army worm during preparations for cropping season since it also poses a serious threat to the country’s major staple food crop — maize.
“The fall army worm is a menace because it thrives in all weather conditions, it is highly-resistant to some chemicals and multiplies at an alarming,” he added.