Hard times await farmers in Malawi following the outbreak of crop-munching fall armyworms in some districts across the country, a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has confirmed.
A worsening pest infestation is threatening Malawi’s staple maize crop
The Principle Secretary in the Ministry, Grey Nyandule Phiri said the outbreak is due to the current weather pattern the country is experiencing.
According to Nyandule, the destructive armyworms attack plants (in green family) such as Maize, Sorghum, Millet and Rice.
“Most parts of the country are experiencing weather conditions characterized by several rainy days followed by sunny days. This type of weather coupled with availability of green grass is very conducive to the growth and development of armyworms,” said Nyandule in a statement.
The Ministry then appealed farmers to frequently inspect their fields and report any suspected armyworms outbreak to relevant authorities for quick action.
“Report armyworm outbreaks or any suspected worms to the nearest Agricultural Office or Extension Workers.
“The Officers will provide advice on how to manage the pests and pesticides for the control of these armyworms,” said Nyandule adding that pesticides from the above mentioned offices are free of charge.
Fall Armyworms have been damaging crops in Malawi and some countries in the Southern Africa such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia since 2017.