Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Armyworms Destroy Zimbabwean Crops, Pastures

Armyworms Destroy Zimbabwean Crops, Pastures

http://www.voazimbabwe.com

Gibbs Dube
07.01.2013

The Agricultural Research and Extension Services (AREX) and some communal 
farmers say almost all provinces have been invaded by an armyworm which is 
destroying hundreds of hectares of crops and green pastures.

AREX officials told VOA Studio 7 that the outbreak started a week ago in 
some parts of Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West, Midlands, Matabeleland 
North and Manicaland provinces.

Officials, who did not want to be named, said they are struggling to control 
the spread of the pest due to chemical shortages.

They are currently assessing the situation in most parts of the country and 
expected to submit a detailed report to the Ministry of Agriculture within 
the next few days.

Some farmers in Matabeleland North and Manicaland provinces, said they are 
failing to access chemicals from AREX and retail shops.

Gasten Shiri of Manicaland said the armyworm is spreading at an alarming 
rate. “The situation is critical in this province as we are not getting the 
necessary government support.”

Communal farmer, Khabo Malinga, of Lupane District, Matabeleland North 
Province, said almost all farmers are planting maize for the second time 
following the destruction of crops that were planted at the end of November.

Land and Agriculture Minister Joseph Made was not immediately available for 
comment.

The pest, which can wreak havoc in fields if left to multiply, derives its 
name from its feeding habits. It eats everything in an area and once the 
food supply is exhausted, the entire “army” will move to the next available 
food source.

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