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Government launches armyworm campaign

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Government has launched ‘Fall Armyworm Sensitisation Campaigns’ to address the problem of fall armyworm outbreak.

The first outbreak was reported in the country in December 2016 and government confirmed reports of the outbreak early this year.

Speaking during the launch, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Aggrey Massi acknowledged the problem and said government is working towards addressing the issue.

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“I would like to call for support from various people at district level to reach out to all farmers and stakeholders who need more information and encouragement in the midst of this problem. The fall armyworm has affected all districts in the country, with differences in severity. The worm destroys crops at different stages and substantially reduces yield and production,” Massi said.

Massi further requested farmers to use recommended pesticides and integrated pest management technologies for sustainable results.

“To help curb this problem, farmers that can afford their own pesticides should come to the ministry to ask for advice on how best they [can] treat their crops,” Massi said.

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Controller of Agriculture Extension and Technical Services Albert Changaya said the worm has affected the whole region.

“Only three countries that are surrounded by the [Sahara] desert have been spared from this disaster. Farmers should also practice field sanitation by making sure that maize fields are weed-free as some weeds may act as alternative hosts to the pest,” Changaya said.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the fall army worm destroys different types of crops and, if left untreated, can reduce yield by more than 73 percent.

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