96 districts infested by army worms

 96 districts infested by army worms

By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Ninety six districts out of 116, in the country, are infested with army worms, which translate into over 96 thousand hectares of maize fields affected by army worms.

Agriculture Minister Reuben Mtolo says the ministry has already distributed 110 thousand liters of chemicals and supporting equipment to all provinces to minimize the damage of the maize crops.

Mr Mtolo has advised farmers to be alert and adopt conservation agricultural practices that help reduce the threat of army worms.

He said that the Food Reserve Agency has purchased over 947 thousand metric tons of white maize, 121 metric tons of soya beans and 656 metric tons of paddy rice from farmers across the country.

Speaking at a press briefing, Mr Mtolo said the treasury has released all the 2.8 billion Kwacha for the maize supplied of which 164, 674 farmers out of the 165, 742 have been paid while 1, 068 are currently being paid.

“My ministry is working closely with the ministry of defense to ensure that all grain is safely stored in secure locations, we have also distributed 199, 856 metric tons of D compound and 148, 556 metric tons of Urea fertilizers across the country which both represent over 90 percent,” he said.

Mr Mtolo said that the ministry has also distributed 99 percent of maize seed, 90 percent of sorghum seed, 89 percent of groundnuts seed and 86 percent of Soya beans seed to beneficiaries

He said that Government will not ban the export of maize, mealie meal and maize bran, because the country has enough stocks.