Gvt fights rare cotton disease in Gokwe

Source: Gvt fights rare cotton disease in Gokwe | The Herald June 30, 2016

Bulawayo Bureau
Government has dispatched a team of experts to Gokwe to investigate a rare cotton disease that has destroyed a number of hectares of the plant especially in Nemangwe and Nembudziya areas.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture responsible for crop and mechanisation, Cde Davison Marapira said the Government was taking the matter seriously. Although there are no confirmed figures of the actual hectares of cotton destroyed so far, Cde Marapira said the team of experts was already on the ground.

“There is an outbreak of a rare disease in Gokwe and a team from the Ministry under the Agriculture, Research Services department is already on the ground. We want to get to the bottom of this once and for all,” he said.

Cde Marapira said the emergency response task team was going to look for pesticides to get rid of the disease that is caused by an insect before it spreads across the country.

Locals in Gokwe have named the insect “Madzibaba” because of its white colour.

Cde Marapira said the Government committed millions of dollars to distribute free cotton inputs to farmers and was very concerned about the latest turn of events. According to farmers in Nemangwe, the disease was first reported in Nembudziya area.

“We call the insect Madzibaba because it is very white in colour and is causing havoc here. We are trying everything from mixing washing powder and other detergents in the hope of killing the insects,” said Chief Nemangwe.

“We don’t know what to do. We thought because of the coming of the rains now, we were going to reap something but the insect has brought our dreams to a crushing end.”