ARMY worms which recently destroyed crops in several districts of Southern Province have been brought under control, provincial Permanent Secretary Chileshe Mulenga has said.
Dr Mulenga said the army worms had been controlled because of intervention measures the Government had put in place in the province.
He said affected farmers had been given seeds to replant their crops as it was cheaper for farmers to replant their crops than for the Government to provide relief food.
Dr Mulenga was speaking in Livingstone when Zambezi FM Radio donated Christmas gifts to elderly people at Maramba Old People’s Village.
The radio station partnered with Protea Hotel Livingstone and Tongabezi to donated mosquito nets, detergents, mealie meal and linen materials, among others.
“As we speak to you now, we are trying to ensure that we get on top of things to mitigate army worms in the province.
The situation is mostly under control but we still have a challenge of making sure that farmers, whose maize were eaten by worms, replant their crops,” Dr Mulenga said.
He said it was cheaper to replant crops than to provide relief food and hence his office and officers in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in the province would not have festive season break to concentrate on mitigating the problem.
“There is nothing like going for a festive season break! We are on standby on 24 hours service to make sure that farmers who need maize seed can get it and replant,” he said.
Dr Mulenga commended Zambezi FM for the gesture and other members of the private sector to emulate the radio station in helping the needy people in society.
“The Patriotic Front (PF) Government has made it very clear that it puts the interests of the poor and vulnerable people at the core of its interests.
I am also glad that Zambezi FM engaged more private sector stakeholders to donate various Christmas gifts to elderly people at Maramba Old People’s Home,” he said.
Dr Mulenga said the country could only have a decent society if people looked after well those who are in needy.
“The society where people don’t care about the needy is not a decent society and end up with very high rate of crime.
It is very important that we don’t just look at our own interests but at the interests of the wider community,” he said.
Speaking at the same function, Zambezi FM acting station manager Victor Musonda said his station was committed to supporting surrounding communities where it was operating from.
“As a radio station, we are part of the community and we also have to give back to the community.
We want to supplement the efforts of the PF Government by helping the needy people in society,” Mr Musonda said.
Tongabezi managing director Rudy Boribon said his organisation would continue supporting various communities in Livingstone.
Livingstone Mayor Aggrey Njekwa pledged to donate a stove to elderly people at Maramba Old People’s Village by next week.