Zambian Watchdog

Cursed: New pests invade Zambian maize fields

January 01
11:27 2013

Another species of pests has attacked maize fields in Kafue district of Lusaka Province.

Kafue District Commissioner (DC) Mrs Grace Ngulube has disclosed that a new type of pests, different from army worms, is on rampage of destroying maize in Mpande area in Chipapa agricultural camp.

Mrs Ngulube, who was accompanied by District Agricultural Coordinator (DACO), Wilson Chilembo and Senior Agriculture Officer (SAO), Kapwepwe Nthele, visited the fields which have been attacked by the new pests which look like caterpillars but hairy and brownish.

Mrs Ngulube said the new type of pests was non-selective and more destructive as they eat both maize and vegetables, such as pumpkin and sweet potato leaves.

She, however, said the camp officers have started spraying the affected fields today to avoid the pests spreading to other areas since the pests have only been reported in one area.

Mrs Ngulube said the pests will easily be defeated because the agricultural officers have moved in the area quickly to start spraying the affected fields.

And District Agricultural Officer (DACO), Wilson Chilembo, said he would request for more chemicals from his ministry to enable the officers spray all the affected fields.

Mr Chilembo has since advised farmers in the district to be alert and report any suspicious pests destroying their maize fields to the nearest agricultural camps.

And one of the affected farmers, Innocent Kayati, said the new pests were attacking the maize fields that were recently replanted after the army worms completely destroyed the maize was first planted.

Mr Kayati said it was unfortunate that their maize was being destroyed by another type of pests that has emerged after the disappearance of the army worms.

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