By CHILA NAMAIKO –
THE Government has released K30.8 million to assist in the fight against army worms and help restore the smooth progress of the current agricultural season.
Finance Minister Felix Mutati said out of that amount, K24.8 million has been channelled through the ministry of Agriculture and K6 million would go to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) in the Office of the Vice-President.
Mr Mutati said the army worms have become a threat to economic diversification because they are adversely affecting agriculture development which is at the core of the initiative.
“We will crash the army worms and their cohorts with ferocious intensity to ensure that the country remains on course with agriculture and food security programs,” he said.
This is according to a statement released yesterday by ministry of Finance spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta.
Mr Mutati was scheduled to visit Kafue today to assess the extent of the damage by army worms in the district.
The minister would also take time to inspect the site for a new toll gate in Shimabala area.
On Thursday, President Edgar Lungu during a tour of fields ravaged by army worms in Kitwe said Government remains committed in supporting all areas affected by army worms and stock borers.
The Head of State said his administration was ready to wipe out army worms which have invaded many fields on the Copperbelt and other parts of the country to avoid importation of maize.
President Lungu further maintained that the support the Government had given to affected farmers whose maize fields had been invaded by army worms was not political as alleged by ‘frustrated’ politicians.