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Migratory locusts terrorise Zambezi maize farmers

2024-03-12  Albertina Nakale

Migratory locusts terrorise Zambezi maize farmers

KATIMA MULILO - The agriculture ministry has deployed extension officers to affected areas in the Zambezi region following reports by maize farmers that their crops are being destroyed by migratory red locusts since February.

Last month, New Era reported that some farmers’ crop fields in Malangalanga in Linyanti have been invaded by insects which destroyed their plantations on a large scale. Some lost as much as three hectares of their maize fields due to the invasion of these insects.

In a media statement on Thursday, the ministry thus informed the farmers and the public that there is a presence of African migratory red locusts in some parts of the Zambezi region. The locusts have also been detected in the Ohangwena region.

The agriculture ministry’s executive director (ED) Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata said the locusts have been detected and reported from 29 February in Zambezi, mainly around Lake Liambezi and Old Masokotwani, destroying maize crops.

These locusts are reported to be in hopper and flying stages. The ministry added that about 10 hectares of crop fields have been destroyed.

Communal farmers around Kapani, Old Masokotwani, Kanono, Linyanti, Nakabolelwa, Masikili, Angina, Isuswa, Ioma, Mutikitila, Ibbu, Mahundu, Ngala, Kapani, Chinchimani, Singobeka, Maunga, Sangwali and Oshikunde (in Ohangwena) are cautioned to be on the lookout and report any notable locusts to the ministry or constituency offices.

“As a result, the ministry has deployed extension officials to intensify surveillance to monitor and assess the situation, and are advised to commence with ground spraying in the affected areas. The ministry will continue assessing the situation to advance the required interventions to curb the further spread of the locusts,” the ED said.

Furthermore, farmers are encouraged to cooperate with the extension officers during the spraying campaign.

2024-03-12  Albertina Nakale

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