United Democratic Front (UDF) Member of Parliament (MP) for Balaka North Constituency Lucius Banda has called upon the Peter Mutharika led government to find a lasting solution to the problem of Fall Army Worms which keeps on destroying thousands of hectares of maize in various fields across the country every year and weayer-induced droughts.
Banda said this after visiting some of the affected maize fields in his constituency that have been heavily affected by Army Worms.
His comments come hot on the heals of report that fall armyworms have ravaged 270 000 hectres of and drought has affected 12 percent if 1.7 miliiom hectres of maize.
“We have had this tragedy of fall army worms almost every year and it is high time we come up with a lasting solution. My appeal to the government is that it must make sure that the medicines are always available to farmers” said Banda.
He also suggested that farmers should always spray the medicine before the crops are attacked.
“All farmers after planting their crops, they should try as much as possible and at all times to apply pestcides before the crops gets attacked. This should also be a tradition the way we always do with fertilizer; we always apply fertilizer every year,” said Banda.
According to Balaka District Commissioner Rodrick Mateauma, over 19,000 hecters of maize have been hit by fall army worms in Balaka raising strong fears of hunger just like last growing season.
Meanwhile, Banda has already sent an S.O.S to the Malawi government to include in its plans the people of Balaka with relief food items.
“We are already in January and there is nothing farmers can do in their affected fields and this means they will severely been hit by hunger therefore I am appealing to the government to start preparations now on how it will serve its people” said Banda.
The combined effects of an outbreak of fall armyworms and dry spell threaten Malawi’s food production and economic growth target in the agro-based economy with the contributuion of agroculture to the gross domestic product (GDP) pegged at least 30 percent.
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :