March 29, 2017
Pests stalk Namibia corn crop-report
Pest outbreaks are taking a toll at Namibia's corn farms as it is set to lose about 5,000 tonnes of the crop this year, the country's agriculture ministry said, according to a Xinhua report.
Eddie Hasheela, chief agricultural scientist in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, predicted Tuesday, March 28, that Namibia's main corn producers in the northern and northeastern regions would produce about a quarter less than their annual production, or only about 20,000 tonnes.
Since early this year, fall armyworms and American bollworms have invaded corn fields in Zambezi, Omusati, Kavango West and Kavango East regions, among others.
Hasheela also said that farmers, despite having received government assistance to spray the crops, had a hard time containing the pests.
"The biggest challenge is the big moles flying in the air, [which] would reproduce once the temperature become favorable. And the chemicals would only work once sprayed by all farmers at the same time, in the right quantity and way, which is when the pests are still young and haven't entered the plants," he said.
Meanwhile, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique were reportedly also suffering from worm outbreaks.