Ministry acquires anti armyworm chemicals
The Ministry of Agriculture has said that it is in the process of buying 10,000 litres of Dursban, a chemical that kills fall armyworms.
The chemical, according to the ministry’s spokesperson, Hamilton Chimala, will be distributed to farmers in areas under irrigation farming to help terminate the fall armyworms which are threatening food security in the country.
In an emailed response to our questionnaire, Chimala admitted that fall armyworms are seriously attacking irrigated maize under irrigation.
“We are not sitting back as we are purchasing 10,000 litres of a chemical called Dursban to be given to farmers. In addition, the Department of Agricultural Research Services in the ministry is evaluating mild synthetic pesticides that can be used to control the pest.
“We also have local scientists backed by some from Brazil who are planning to introduce natural enemies for fall army worms as a biological means of pest control,” Chimala said.
In addition, the ministry is also using researchers to evaluate the efficacy of botanical pesticides neem, which is cheaper as it is available locally, according to Chimala.
“Moving forward, government will also be procuring ‘pheromone traps’ that will assist communities to monitor fall armyworms as an early warning system,” he said
During the 2016/2017 growing season, Malawi and other six sub-Saharan countries suffered the fall armyworm attack on their fields, forcing many farmers to incur losses.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues