Former Agriculture Minister Eustarkio Kazonga says army worms which have invaded fields in some parts of the country pose a threat to food security in the country.
Speaking in an interview with QFM, Dr. Kazonga who is also Vubwi MMD Member of Parliament says government should therefore intervene before the planting season comes to an end.
Dr. Kazonga says army worms are disastrous urging government through the Ministry of Agriculture to reinforce extension services to ensure that farmers are educated on how destructive the worms are.
He says if preventive measures are not quickly put in place, the army worms will have devastating effects on the country’s Agricultural production.
The army worms have attacked about 70 percent of fields which include maize, Cassava leaves, Sorghum and rice fields in Kabwe district.
Other districts affected include Chongwe, Lusaka, Nyimba and Chinsali.
Government has since offered to help farmers with chemicals to get rid of the army worms but has not guaranteed affected farmers of seeds to replant.
Army worms are regarded as pests and can wreak havoc on crops if left to multiply.
Meanwhile, Government has assured all farmers in areas that have been affected by army worms that it is doing everything possible to contain the situation.
Agriculture and Livestock Minister Emmanuel Chenda says his ministry is on high alert and is monitoring the army worm outbreak and has called on farmers to be vigilant as the pests appear to be spreading at a fast rate.
Mr. Chenda disclosed that the ministry has purchased chemicals to deal with the pests adding that officers at his ministry are on the ground spraying in the affected areas.
In a statement to QFM news, Mr. Chenda has further advised farmers to buy chemicals for spraying such as Fenvelate, Cypermethrin, Malathion, Diazion, Demotrothion and Dursban 4E.
He further states that farmers who may not have the chemicals should approach district agricultural co-ordinators offices in their various areas for free spraying.
The agriculture minister has since assured farmers that officers have commenced spraying in affected areas of Central, Lusaka, Eastern, Muchinga and Southern provinces and other areas.