Flash floods affect 600 Monze farmers
Published On February 4, 2022 » 876 Views» By Times Reporter » Features
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ALMOST 600 farmers in Monze district in Southern Province have been affected by flash floods that have overwhelmed over 200 hectares of farmland.
Monze District senior agricultural officer Moses Mumba said this in an interview recently.
Mr Mumba said the flash floods caused by heavy rainfall affected 224 hectares of farmland belonging to 594 farmers.
He said 18 agricultural camps, especially those located near streams and those close to the Kafue Flood Plans were among the areas affected.
Mr Mumba said some of the affected farmers had their crops washed away while others were left with waterlogged fields.
He said most of the affected fields were mostly for maize, cowpeas, groundnuts and sunflower.
Mr Mumba advised the farmers to consider planting vetiver grass which would provide a buffer to their fields against the strong water current.
He discouraged the farmers from cultivating near and along the streams saying such practices encouraged siltation which caused the streams to dry up, thereby disturbing the natural path for water.
“Farmers should stop cultivating near or along the streams as this causes siltation which dries up the streams. When the natural pathway is disturbed, water will now be going to their homes causing floods”, Mr Mumba said.
He said the floods would cause negative effects on crop production, which would consequently impact household food security in the district.
Meanwhile, Mr Mumba has advised agriculture extension officers and the farmers to step up surveillance for Fall armyworms that could attack fields.
This came in the wake of the Fall armyworms infestation which had been detected in most of the fields in Monze district.
Mr Mumba said 18 hectares of farmland belonging to 82 farmers, had been infested by the armyworms.
He said the infestation, which had affected seven per cent of the fields in the district, had not caused any serious damage to the crops.
Mr Mumba said the Government had provided 1,000 litres of Imidachlorprid chemicals for distribution to the affected farmers.
He further said the Fall armyworms were endemic and should be treated just like weeds by all the farmers.
“So when a farmer is planning, they should also be planning for the Fall armyworm chemicals because the worms are now endemic,” Mr Mumba said.
He advised the farmers to always stock up on chemicals to curb the armyworms whenever they attacked crops, unlike always waiting for the Government to provide the chemicals.
He said waiting for the Government to take action might make the farmers lose out especially in cases when the chemicals were provided late.-NAIS

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