Farmers in six villages empowered to fight armyworm

11Jun 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Farmers in six villages empowered to fight armyworm

AUTHORITIES in Moshi District Council have embarked on a training programme aimed at empowering farmers in six villages with best skills to fight against Fall Armyworm (FAW)--an invasive pest native to the Americas.

District Council agricultural officer, Chikira Mcharo, said a team of experts have been dispatched in the area to train farmers on what to do once the pest invades their farms.

"This area is prone to the pest, particularly during this season, that's why we're preparing our farmers with skills on how to fight it," he said.

Mcharo said that the insect pest that feeds on more than 80 crop species and cause damage to economically important cultivated cereals such as maize, rice, sorghum, and also to legumes as well as vegetables and cotton.

High infestations can lead to significant yield losses.

Kahe ward councilor Kamili Mmbando conformed that experts have been in the area and they had reached 75 per cent visiting farmers in the area.

Mmbando was presenting the report on the development of ward before the full council here over the weekend.

Since the first official report of FAW presence in Nigeria in January 2016, the incidence of the pest has been confirmed in 38 countries in Africa as of December 2017. FAW can feed on more than 80 plant species, including maize, sorghum, rice, wheat, sugarcane, cowpeas, vegetable crops, and cotton.

Due to the complex nature of fall armyworm infestation, high spreading performance, high reproductive capacity and wide host range, it is most likely that the pest will soon be able to colonize most African countries and pose a great impact to countries’ food security and livelihoods.

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