Sunday, June 23, 2024

Hunger Looms Over Luapula, Northern, and Muchinga Provinces in Zambia

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Fred M’membe, President of the Socialist Party, has called for urgent action to address the looming food and nutrition crisis in Luapula, Northern, and Muchinga Provinces in Zambia.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Dr M’membe narrated that a devastating disease known as brown streak is destroying cassava crops in Luapula, Northern, and Muchinga provinces in Zambia, leaving the population vulnerable to hunger. Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) is a serious threat to food security in these provinces, as it destroys both the leaves and roots of the cassava plant. Cassava is the second most economically important crop in Zambia and is grown in several provinces, including Luapula, Northern, Muchinga, North-Western, and Western provinces. It is also grown in parts of Lusaka and Central provinces. Approximately 30% of the population in Zambia depends on cassava as a staple crop and source of income.

The first incidences of CBSD were reported in the northern districts of Chienge (Luapula Province) and Kaputa (Northern Province) more than five years ago, but very little has been done to curb its spread. Cassava is a drought-resistant crop that can withstand floods, making it an important source of food in times of climate change, which has affected cereal crops. The outbreak of CBSD should be taken seriously and addressed with coordinated, collective action to prevent a food and nutrition crisis in these provinces.

Luapula, with a poverty rate of 81.1%, is the second poorest province in Zambia. The failure of the cassava crop will only further exacerbate the already dire situation in this province, leading to increased malnutrition and child mortality. The poverty rates in Northern and Muchinga provinces are also high, at 79.7% and 69.3%, respectively. These provinces will also be severely impacted by the cassava crop failure.

To address this crisis, emergency measures are needed to support the population in Luapula, Northern, and Muchinga provinces. Longer-term action is also necessary to create more sustainable agri-food systems. One potential solution is breeding cassava varieties that are resistant to CBSD, which could help curb the spread of the disease and increase food security in these provinces.

It is crucial that this issue is addressed with the seriousness it deserves to prevent further suffering and malnutrition in these already impoverished areas, his statement concluded.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I remember when Frederick Chiluba refused to raise a finger as 2 million cows were dying of foot and mouth disease in the Southern Province, saying “let them take care of it, they cans sell their cows”….When we have problems, no one helps us. Yet we have been feeding this country for 60 years… and a lot of unscrupulous characters have made money exporting our agricultural products to other countries. That being said, it is “One Zambia, One Nation”. Let HH do whatever needs to be done to help our fellow Zambians in these 3 provinces. To hell with Frederick Chipuba, the dwarf was not even a Zambian, but a pygmy from the Ituri forest. He did not die soon enough.

  2. Wikipedia; “After a period of ambiguity among researchers, the consensus is that the most likely candidate of CBSD vector is Bemisia tabaci biotype B, the silverleaf whitefly.[1][8][9]” So anything that will stop whitefly.

    If you ferment sprouted casava seeds/microgreens in molasses/sugar cane/honey water, you can create a folar spray that feeds the plant, covers it with beneficial microbes which mitigate insect damage too by tracking friendlies around, and make organic debris decompose faster. And grow a few plants/crops that attract predatory insects.

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  3. We are still waiting for your comment on the Zambian student who was killed in Ukraine while fighting for Russia.
    If the Zambian student instead died while fighting for US , you would have made so much noise.
    Your silence on this matter is too loud.

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