Vice President Inonge Wina has described the destruction of maize fields by army worms as a national crisis requiring concerted efforts of all stakeholders.
The Vice President says efforts should be intensified in eradicating the Army Worms that are a big threat to the country’s food security and likely to cause a mass destruction if not contained.Mrs Wina has since called for a strong alliance among various government units to help contain the invasion of army worms ravaging maize fields in various parts of the country.
She says the current situation needs involvement of all stakeholders such as the traditional leaders, civic leaders and Members of Parliament.The Vice President was speaking when she visited the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit -DMMU- offices in Lusaka.Mrs WINA has commended the strides being made by the Ministry of Agriculture and the DMMU to contain the Army Worms.
And during the briefing, DMMU National Coordinator Patrick Kangwa disclosed that so far over 15 thousand litres of Pesticides have been dispatched to all provinces in the country.Mr. Kangwa however, said there are about 28 thousand Litres of pesticides procured and will be dispatched.
He noted that 63 thousand 975 farmers in the country have been affected by the destructive worms.Mr. Kangwa also disclosed that over 89 thousand hectares of maize fields have been affected with Central province being the most hit by the crisis followed by Copperbelt and Lusaka Provinces.
He also revealed that reports reaching his office indicate that some officers are not active in the operation to eradicate army worms.
And agriculture Permanent Secretary Julius Shawa said all protective wear and equipment that are supposed to be used have been distributed.Mr. Shawa said experts will study the Army Worms and give feedback so that there is a review of the operation.Meanwhile, Acting Secretary to the Treasury Pamela Kabamba said K10.5 million has been released to contain the invasion of army worms.
Mrs. Kabamba said the treasury has disbursed K7 million to the Ministry of Agriculture and K3.5 million to the DMMU.