Armyworms have been spotted in fields in Mchinji, raising fears about low crop yield in the 2019/20 growing season.
Crop protection officer at Mchinji district agricultural office Raphlino Gondwe has confirmed about the outbreak.
Gondwe said armyworms have been seen in Mkanda and Mikundi Extension Planning Areas where about 81 hectares have been affected.
“The armyworms were found feeding on natural grasses and no crop has been affected so far. To prevent the spread of the armyworms to crops, the office of agriculture in Mchinji has distributed pesticides to be sprayed in the affected areas,” Gondwe said.
Mavuto Chapata, one of the farmers in the area that has been affected expressed concern over the outbreak saying armyworms are very dangerous and they destroy crops.
“As a farmer I am very worried with the outbreak because if this continues our crops may be attacked by the armyworms.
“Many people here rely on farming so we want this outbreak to be controlled very soon before it affects our crops or reach other areas in Mchinji,” he said.
Armyworms are caterpillar pests of grass pastures and cereal crops which mostly feed on leaves.