Malawi Govt. says armyworms will not affect harvest
Government has assured Malawians that the country will still realise a good harvest despite armyworms attacking some maize fields.
Deputy director of crop development in the ministry of agriculture Bartholomew Ngauma said some crops have been attacked by armyworms but he insisted that the pests will not put a dent in crop yields.
“To some extent some of the fields that has been attacked by armyworms will affect the harvest but the country will still realise a good harvest,” said Ngauma.
However, Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET) suggested that government should increase risk management for the agriculture sector as the current climate change situation means that Malawi is likely to face such disasters.
CISANET National Director Tamani Nkhono Mvula recently told Malawi24 that government needs to also invest in research for resistant crops so that armyworms are dealt with through resistant varieties.
Over 2000ha of maize fields in the country have been attacked by armyworms during the current growing season.
The armyworms known as false armyworms have hit many districts including Balaka, Mangochi Blantyre, Mulanje, Chiradzulu, Kasungu, Nsanje and Chikhwawa.
False armyworms attack maize and other cereals by feeding on the crop.
When the pests first attacked maize in January, the ministry of agriculture advised farmers to inspect their crop for any appearance of the armyworms and damaged maize tips.
Farmers were also told to apply Cypermethrin.