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Fall armyworms destroy crops in Blantyre

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The fall armyworms have attacked over 2,000 hectares in Blantyre, Blantyre District Agriculture Development Division (ADD) said yesterday.
District Agriculture Officer, Linda Mphande, said 2,843 hectares of maize fields have been invaded by fall armyworms.
Blantyre has 56,000 hectares of arable land, of which 44,806 hectares is for rain-fed maize while 3,465 hectares is for irrigated maize.
Mphande said though the extent of damage was slightly lower this year compared to last year, her office was still monitoring the fields and is ready to fight the worms.
She said for the current growing season, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development through the Blantyre \ ADD provided the district office with 270 litres of pesticides which has since been distributed to all Extension Planning Areas.
Apart from distributing the pesticides, Mphande said her office was currently conducting awareness campaigns and training farmers in how they could deal away with the worms.
“As government, as well as an office, we are ready and on the look out to contain the pest,” she said.
She appealed to farmers not to wait for government for assistance but develop possible means of containing the spread of the worms.

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