Maize fields at several plots and farms in Gokwe South have been destroyed by the recent outbreak of armyworm, NewsDay has learnt.
Source: Armyworm hits Gokwe – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 23, 2017
BY MUNESU NYAKUDYA
One of the affected farmers, Violet Muloyi, told NewsDay this week that efforts to contain the outbreak, which broke out two weeks ago, using pesticides had not worked.
“It hurts me to see this happening to me. I used a lot of resources throughout the process and I was expecting to harvest about five tonnes of maize,” she said.
“We consulted some experts and they told us to buy different types of pesticides and all that we have tried, but in vain. We have sprayed, but the worm has only multiplied. We don’t know where this worm is coming from. This has never happened to us; it is our first experience. We have been told that it is the armyworm, but we don’t know how to deal with it.”
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the caterpillar first appeared in Togo and Nigeria in 2015, but no one really knows how to get rid of it yet.
The worm, which is suspected to have originated from South America, has caused damage to crops in Zambia, South Africa, Ghana, Malawi, Togo and Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union Gokwe South district chairperson, Oppah Hawadi, said she was yet to hear from other farmers that had been affected and would seek help from relevant authorities.
“A lot of families have complained for the past week and we fear contamination,” she said.