Malawi identifies chemicals for eradicating armyworms


Following an outbreak of fall armyworms in Malawi in the 2016/17 farming season, Malawi has identified chemicals for controlling the pests.

Research cientists at Bvumbwe Research Station have found at least two chemicals that, during tests, were proving effective in dealing with fall armyworms.

Joseph Mwanamvekha
Mwanamvekha: Research scientists are doing great work.

Senior Deputy Director of Agriculture Services Thomson Chilanga said they are in the process of naming the pesticides and are hopeful that the chemicals will be available to farmers.

“We are going to make the final analysis of the activities and instruct the local chemical distributors to make sure the chemicals are available across the country,” said Chilanga who is also manager for the research station.

Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Joseph Mwanamvekha has since commended the researchers for stepping up to resolve some of the challenges rocking the agriculture sector.

“Research scientists are doing great work in edifying Malawi’s agro based economy. But there is still need for more effort to address challenges that the research stations are facing so that they upscale efficiency,” Mwanamvekha said.

Armyworms destroyed over 140,000 hectares of maize field and millet in the last growing season with 600,000 farmers being affected.

As a way of reducing damage in case of another outbreak, farmers are being advised to plant early, to remove weeds from their fields and to inspect their fields regularly during the growing season.