Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has warned communities in Mulanje district that there is an outbreak of red locust swarms (dzombe) and that they should refrain from eating them.
Secretary for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Erica Maganga said in a statement issued out\ on Thursday that the locusts are at meantime attacking crop fields in some parts of the district.
“Currently the locusts are flying in a swarm moving in the direction of Luchenza in Thyolo and Thuchila EPA on the boarder with Chiradzulu.So far the locust have been seen in trees and damaging cassava, maize, banana, sweet potato and pigeon peas,” explained Maganga.
She added “Aerial survey will be done to locate the origin of the swarms and carry out control operations.”
The red locusts which are regarded as edible dish by some quarters of the Malawians society, are said to have been spotted first on Tuesday September 19. 2017 in Chinyama area along the Ruo River, and affected areas include Unyolo 1, Sanyika, Ntiza, Thembe, Samela, Unyolo 2 and Golden.
“The ministry wishes to assure the public and affected people in Mulanje that it is doing everything possible to deal with and control the situation. The ministry has organised officials to assist communities with pesticides,” Maganga said, adding arrangements for aerial spraying are currently being made and communities are being advised to refrain from picking and consuming weakened or dead locusts..”
Maganga added that officials from the ministry are currently working with communities on how to deal with the locusts which will eventually affect their crop fields.