K36 Million Needed To Battle Army Worms, Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Agriculture has requested the Finance Ministry to provide ZMW36 million towards the fight against fall army-worms.

Agriculture Permanent Secretary Julius Shawa says the funds will go towards the procurement of chemicals and other items needed to aid the ministry's efforts.

Mr. Shawa said crop pests and diseases pose serious challenges to production.

The department of Agriculture and the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will spearhead the Fall Army-worm Management Project at a cost of USD272,000 over a period of 18 months.

FAO Acting Country Representative Jennifer Bitonde said Africa may lose up to USD3bn worth of maize in the current farming season if the fall army-worm infestation is not mitigated soon.

Ms. Bitonde said the Army-worms management project will address the negative impact of the pest on production, international trade of maize and food security in Zambia.

Meanwhile, the Conservation Farming Unit (CFU) has commended the joint effort by government and FAO in the fight against army-worms.

CFU Chief Executive Officer Collins Nkatiko said the army-worm problem cannot be solved in isolation and requires consolidated efforts on all fronts.

Mr. Nkatiko has also appealed to farmers to diversify crop production as a way of minimizing infestation.

Xanthopastis Timais Cramer Feeding On Amaryllis

Army worms feeding on maize leaves

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