The Circle for Integrated Community Development (CICOD) has donated pesticides and sprayers to farmers in Dowa district to help them deal with fall armyworms.
In early January, the organisation also gave out maize and soya beans to the areas which were affected by the pest and that was when it was asked by the beneficiaries to provide pesticides.
CICOD sourced K1.5 million for the 10 sprayers and 300 bottles of Salban.
Speaking when donating the items, CICOD’s Programs Manager Edward Thole urged the beneficiaries to buy more pesticides as the crops need to be sprayed in the morning and evening of which government and NGOs alone cannot manage.
Thole said the organization’s specific objectives such as increase in food and nutrition security, increase in income levels, reversing integrity of natural resources to mitigate drought and improving capacity of the community in disaster risk reduction cannot be achieved if the crops are attacked by the fall armyworms.
He said each group village head under the organization’s catchment area will get 2 sprayers and 60 bottles of Salban and this will cover 250 hectares
In her remarks, Dowa District Agriculture Office’s Crops Officer, Chifundo Mpola said the fall armyworms have come to stay in the district and farmers just need to use mitigating measures such as early planting, crop rotation, using recommended certified seeds and proper crop management.
Mpola urged farmers to make sure that the pesticides are changed after using for some time because it has been discovered that the fall armyworms are getting used to the pesticides.
She then commended CICOD for complimenting government efforts of achieving food security through providing the farmers with the pesticides saying they will cover the areas where government cannot reach.
Earlier, group village head Chibvala commended CICOD for the provision of the pesticides saying they tried to kill the pests but failed and they did not receive chemicals from government.
He assured CICOD that farmers in the area will take care of the sprayers and be able to rotate so that everyone should benefit.
CICOD with funding from German cooperation through Sign of Hope is implementing a 5 year project in Dowa called Drought Resilience through Enhanced Adaptation and Mitigation (DREAM) targeting 1,500 beneficiaries.