Armyworms destroy 100ha of maize field amid looming hunger in Malawi

Amid reports that about two million Malawians are facing hunger due to low yields of staple food last year, some peasants in Phalombe district have been severely hit after they lost their maize to army worms.

About 100 hectares of maize garden have been devastated by the developing armyworms which launched the damage early this week.

Farmers are overwhelmed with fears that more maize fields will be affected as the armyworms continue migrating from one field to the other.

Phalombe District Agriculture Development Officer (DADO) Osmund Chapotoka said the armyworms were first observed early this week within Nkhulambe Extension Planning Area (EPA) before they stretched to other areas.

The DADO explained that as of Thursday morning Nkhulambe EPA had lost about 50 hectares.

Other EPAs which have also recorded damage include Naminjiwa (40 ha), Waluma (eight ha) while Tamani had recorded one ha of crop loss.

“At the moment our extension officers are in the affected areas spraying the pesticides to the affected gardens to counter their multiplication,” he said.

Apart from maize the armyworms are reportedly also  attacking other crops in the area.

Armyworms wreak untold havoc to crops if left to multiply and is name is derived from its feeding habits.

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