Armyworm outbreak in Mbire, Muzarabani districts

via Armyworm outbreak in Mbire, Muzarabani districts | The Herald 30 December 2014 by Petros Zivengwa

AN  armyworm outbreak has been reported in Mbire and Muzarabani, Mashonaland Central Province, where the pest is reported to have destroyed at least 26 hectares of sorghum and pastures.The pest rapidly breeds in wet conditions.

In an interview yesterday, Plant Protection Research Institute Deputy director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Dr Godfrey Chikwenhere, said the first armyworm outbreak this year was reported on December 23 in Mbire.

“We recorded the first armyworm outbreak on December 23 in Mbire District where about 22 hectares of pastures and sorghum were destroyed,” he said.

“We sent our team (extension workers) to spray and the results were very effective. We also learnt that today (yesterday) there is also an outbreak in Muzarabani, threatening to destroy four hectares of pastures.”

Dr Chikwenhere said his ministry was working tirelessly to curb the outbreak of armyworm in traditional areas such as Mbire, Muzarabani and Mt Darwin.

“Every province has got extension workers tasked to lookout for armyworm outbreaks and we urge farmers to report immediately to Agritex officers so that they (armyworms) get controlled before they damage the crops or pastures,” he said.

Dr Chikwenere said, his organisation was assisting farmers with chemicals and workshops being held countrywide as efforts to control the outbreaks.

He urged farmers to report directly to responsible authorities once they suspect the outbreak.