The Ministry of Agriculture’s Principal Public Relations Officer, Moreri Moesi, says that the Ministry has dispatched teams to go out and fight the invading African army worm in all districts of the country.
“We currently have teams fighting the worms in all parts of the country where the worm has been reported as of now,” he said. He said that the worm was first reported in the Kweneng District and in Ngamiland but now they have received similar reports from almost all districts of the country.
He added that the worm mostly eats crops of the grass family, such as maize, millet and sorghum and do not eat the likes of beans. On the challenges they are facing, Moesi said that the main challenge currently is the shortage of pesticides to use against the invading worms locally.
This, he said, has made them look outside the country for the supply of pesticides, such as alpha methrini and cypermethrini, which are the pesticides they mainly use to fight against the worms.
He added that the other challenge is that of lack of enough manpower and resources, saying that they are, however, doing their best with the resources they have.
“We are doing all we can with the resources we currently have,” he said, adding that farmers with resources he are also encouraged not to wait for their officers but to spray on their own and that when they need expert assistance, their agricultural officers in the field will help them.
Their advice to farmers is that they should weed their fields as weeds growing amongst crops create a condusive environment for the worm. The worm is believed to have already destroyed thousands of hectares.
Foreign media reports say that Zimbabwe has also been invaded by the worm, forcing some farmers to replant.