GOVERNMENT has distributed 1, 000 litres of pesticides to Kabompo to help combat armyworms, which have destroyed maize fields in the district. Kabompo district agriculture coordinator Peter Chibizwa said in an interview yesterday that the chemicals were delivered last week. This is in addition to the 500 litres which were sent to the district in December last year.
Mr Chibizwa said about 600 hectares of maize fields in the district have been affected by the armyworms. “We received 1, 000 litres of chemicals last week for over 600 hectares and we have distributed the chemicals to affected farmers,” he said. He said about 1, 000 farmers have reported the presence of fall armyworms in their maize fields in the district.
“More than 1,000 farmers will benefit from the chemicals being distributed by Government in the district. We have estimated 600 hectares to have been affected as of last month, but the figure keeps increasing,” Mr Chibizwa said. And Mr Chibizwa said 6, 998 farmers in the district accessed inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) for the 2019-2020 season. He said this is out of the 7, 000 farmers who were targeted to receive the inputs under FISP in the district. “The targeted number of beneficiaries under FISP was 7, 000 farmers, but only 6, 998 benefited from the FISP inputs,” Mr Chibizwa said. He also said the district is likely to record a bumper harvest this year because of the good rainfall received so far.
Mr Chibizwa said the early distribution of farm inputs to farmers despite the invasion of armyworms will also contribute to a better crop yield in the district. “Government and farmers combined efforts to mitigate the effects of the fall armyworms. In terms of the actual inputs distribution, we started in October and by November all the maize packs and fertiliser were distributed to farmers,” he said.