President Peter Mutharika has declared a state of disaster in 20 districts affected by armyworm.
This is according to a press statement issued and signed by presidential secretary Mgeme Kalirani dated 16th December, 2017.
Kalirani says Mutharika in accordance with powers conferred upon him in Section 32 (1) of the Disaster Preparedness and Relief Act, has declared a state of disaster in all the districts that have been affected by the fall of army worm infestation Disaster areas from, 15th December, 2017.
“The President has been informed that since the onset of 2017/2018 cropping season and as at 8th December 2017, the Fall Armyworms had affected a total of 20 out of 28 districts in the country, affecting thousands of hectares and 133,083 farming families in the process,” reads the statement.
According to the statement, Government is putting in place measures to contain the spread of the Fall Armyworm.
“Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD) and development partners, is implementing interventions to contain the spread and impact of the Fall Armyworm outbreak. So far, a cumulative total of 56,082 litres of pesticides (i.e. Dursban and Cyperimethrin) have been procured and distributed to Agriculture Extension Planning Areas (EPA’s) where small holder farmers are accessing them for spraying infected fields,” Reads the statement.
However, the current stocks of pesticides are not adequate to contain the situation as the cropping season progresses hence there is need for more resources to procure additional pesticides.
Government therefore plans is to procure 400,000 litres of pesticides that will be distributed to farmers through.
According to Kalilani, development partners have also supported government to procure and install pheromone traps in several districts to monitor the prevalence of the pest.