Two Malawi daily papers, The Nation and Daily Times on Wednesday focused on the swam of of locust which invated sugarcane and maize fields of Illovo Sugar (Malawi) Limited in Chikwawa.
“Illobo estates lose K8m to locust”, read a headline in the Daily Times which says the company has spent about K8 million to fight the locusts outbreak.
The Nation newspaper story had a similar headline with emphasis that the battle is far from over until the source, Mozambique, is dealt with.
“Illovo spends K8m to clear locusts, battle not over,” reads the headine in The Nation.
Both papers quoted Illovo Sugar (Malawi) technical field manager responsible for agronomy Peter Chiipanthenga .
He is quoted briefing Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda who visited the company’s Nchalo Estate to appreciate the impact of the damage caused by the locusts.
Said Chiipanthenga: “We hired a plane from Makandi Aviation to do aerial spray and indeed killed all the locusts that affected our fields, but we cannot say we have won the battle against the locusts until we deal with the source.
“It is a dangerous locust and it caught us unaware. Anytime we can be attacked again because our action only dealt with the locusts that affected us, but as Illovo we are now prepared.”
He said the company spent K8 million.
According to both Chiipanthenga and Shire Valley Agriculture protection officer Ringstone Taibu, Malawi requires the intervention of the International Red Locust Organisation for Central and Southern Africa (Irlocsa) based in Zambia to use its mandate to deal with the source of the locusts in Mozambique.Development Division (ADD) principal crop
The locusts hit the estate early this month from Nsanje.
The locust, which has been identified as African Migratory locusts, first appeared at Nyamula Irrigation Scheme in Nsanje on July 22 where it damaged immature maize plants before spreading to Bangula and finally crossing into Chikwawa.