By MILDRED KATONGO –
THE Government has warned of another possible invasion of the crop-munching army worms ahead of the 2017/2018 crop season.
Transport and Communications Minister Brian Mushimba said the weather pattern in Zambia remained conducive for another attack of the devastating pests, as seen in the last crop season.
Mr Mushimba urged the farming community to report any signs of the insects to the Ministry of Agriculture and the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU).
Mr Mushimba said in a statement released in collaboration with the Meteorological Department, that the 2017/2018 rainy season forecast that Zambia was likely to receive normal to above normal rainfall.
“Each season comes with diverse implications across all sectors. The nation is, therefore, informed that the 2017/18 rainy season may experience the following: outbreak of army worms. You may note that weather and climate conditions influence the incubation, development and migration of army worms. I encourage farmers to report any signs of these pests,” Mr Mushimba said.
He said his ministry would provide weather and climate information to aid the prevention and fight against any outbreak of army worms.
He said all parts of the country had the potential for army worm outbreaks, including other pests and that the weather and climate information was vital to prevent and fight against agricultural pests.
He said his ministry was working with the Ministry of Agriculture and DMMU to provide early warning information and that the 2017/2018 rainy seasonal forecast implications were put together by a team comprising technical experts.