Government has put all the necessary mitigation measures to control the deadly African migratory locusts in the country.
Minister of Agriculture Michael Katambo said mitigation measures such as procurement of chemicals both for aerial and ground spraying to contain and control the ravaging field crop pest have been done.
Mr. Katambo said government used a multi-sectoral approach to put in place these measures.
He expressed happiness that motorised ground sprayers have been procured with the support of the International Red Locust for Central and Southern Africa.
These motorised sprayer are meant to intensify spraying of affected areas in Kazungula district.
The minister was speaking in an exclusive interview with the National Agricultural Information Services (NAIS) in Sikaunzwe agriculture camp in Kazungula district when he visited the area to monitor the spraying of affected areas.
Mr. Katambo was gratified to see members of the community that includes farmers participating in wiping out the African migratory locusts.
He explained that the pest is a great threat to Zambia’s food security hence it was important for farmers to work side by side with Ministry of Agriculture specialists in eradicating the locusts.
He noted that had government not worked in a coordinated, multi-sectoral approach and if agriculture staff had not quickly notified the ministry about the presence of the locusts the pests could have spread to other areas thereby threatening food security.
Mr. Katambo has since called for further multi-sectoral approach in fighting the pest with neighbouring countries such as Botswana and Namibia.
He added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been engaged to see to it that once Botswana and Namibia do the spraying, Zambia should equally be spraying at the same time to eradicate the pest completely.
The minister said he has been briefed by agriculture experts that there are also red locusts in Kazungula, which breed once a year and the African migratory locusts which breed four to five times in a year.
Mr. Katambo has meanwhile commended President Edgar Lungu for putting in place all the mitigation measures.
The Zambia Airforce (ZAF), the International Red Locust for Central and Southern Africa and the Ministry of Agriculture staff are working together to contain and control the devastating pest.
The minister disclosed that government has procured enough chemicals which are in storage facilities in Southern Province both for aerial and ground spraying.
And Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary Songowayo Zyambo commended his staff in Southern and Western provinces for working tirelessly in controlling and containing the pest.
Mr. Zyambo said officers in Kazungula district are waking up at 04 AM every day to go in the field to spray locusts in a bid to keep the pest at a level that cannot cause damage to field crops.
He said it is critical is to keep the pest at a level that is not damaging to crop fields by carrying out a continuous monitoring, surveillance, and spraying regime on the ravaging pest.
Mr. Zyambo said a robust spraying regime will be put in place throughout the year so that the pest does not create a threat on national food security.
He revealed that government will procure another consignment of pesticides and store them so that immediately there is an outbreak, experts can quickly move in to spray against the pest.
The Permanent Secretary said this is owing to the demand for the chemical by a number of countries experiencing the problem of African migratory locusts.
He said the demand has culminated in delayed supply from the suppliers once an order for chemicals has been placed.
So this lousy corrupt minister doesn’t have a mask on? What a genius.
A proactive government taking progressive measures to ensure our protection. I will raise a glass of 30 year old whisky to this. Amen
A corrupt government taking inadequate measures to little too late. May the 30 year old whisky change into cow’s pee immediately
Another dull moron this Michael Katambo ..the photo exemplifies his stupidity where he is looking at both typed speech and lap top….a waste of tax money this doughnut
Aba ba Grade 12 ababula amasambililo nangula amano, how did he become your minister? Bushe ku Zambia mulatontonkanya? Ba group 4 ku primary aka minister?
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