By Nyasha Dube.
Agricultural Technical and Extension Services (Agritex) has warned farmers to closely monitor their crops following the outbreak of the African armyworm in the Midlands province.
The worm has so far been reported in Gweru, Shurugwi, Zvishavane, and Mberengwa.
The outbreak comes at a time when the country’s farming sector has experienced setbacks such as delayed and errant rains, a development that could threaten food security.
Agritex Midlands provincial Head of Department Medline Magwenzi confirmed the outbreak to Great Dyke News 24, saying it is mainly affecting maize and pastures.
“About 60 hectares of land had been affected by the worm as of Friday last week, and about 90% damage has so far been experienced in the affected areas,” said Magwenzi.
Magwenzi however assured farmers that the pestilence is being contained as the government has availed chemicals free of charge to farmers in the affected areas.
“Government has provided chemicals for the farmers and we can confirm that the armyworm is being contained,” said Magwenzi.
She further urged farmers to urgently report any sighting of the worm to Agritex offices in their respective areas so as to minimise damage.