By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Government says that over 22,000 hectors of land has been invaded by the African Migratory Locust in Western Province.
Minister of Agriculture Michael Katambo said that he was aware that farmers in the Province are in the process of starting to plant but have been affected by the infestation of the locusts.
Mr Katambo was speaking when he paid a courtesy call on the Litunga Imwiko Lubosi, he said government is worried about the development and that it is working with other stakeholders such as the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit-DMMU in the office of the Vice President and the International Red Locust Control Organisation for Central and Southern Africa, to ensure that the Locusts are controlled.
He said government has engaged the International Red Locust Control Organisation of Ndola to ensure that the entire hector is sprayed.
And Minister in the office of the Vice President Olipa Phiri said her office through DMMU has procured the required chemicals for both aerial and ground spraying.
Ms Phiri said her office will closely monitor the programme and ensure that loss of crop in the affected area is prevented.
And speaking on behalf of the Litunga, Ngambela Manyando said government should consider engaging the international community so that the fight against locusts should start from the source.
Mr Manyando said the Litunga is happy with the quick response from government and is committed to be part of the solution to the problem in order to ensure food security.
He said the Litunga will work with government in a multi sectoral approach to ensure that people in the Province are well sensitized about the Locusts.
And Western Province Minister, Richard Kapita thanked government for the response and that his office will collaborate with the other stakeholders in the fight against the locusts.