Ngamiland farmers who were last year devastated after drought killed thousands of their livestock have been invaded by African army worms which eat crops in the fields and range grass.
A Chanoga farmer in Ngamiland, Selelekeng Gagente, says that the outbreak had devastated them in that they were hoping they would at least grow crops and sell them as they cannot do so with their cattle because of the outbreak of foot and mouth disease.
“This has greatly devastated us as we were hoping to make money by selling the crops we were starting to grow. The invasion of these worms have left us in a dangerous situation as we are bound to leave our fields empty handed,” he said.
Gagente added that his only hope is that the government will come to their assistance as been promised to stop the invasion.
Another farmer in Chanoga, Goitsone Keledi, says that he was just about to start ploughing when the worm invaded and now does not know whether to continue ploughing or stop. He said he hoped the worm will go away.
“I do not know what to do as we talk. I am afraid that if I plough, I will leave empty handed and would have wasted my time, money and energy at a time when we are also not able to sell our cattle because of foot and mouth disease and drought,” said Keledi.
Moesi Moreri, the Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, reported that the worm had also invaded areas around Mmopane and Gakgatla in Kweneng South, Gweta in the Central District and Gumare in Ngamiland.
The last outbreak of the disease is reported to have been in 1991.