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Army worms get more poison

PROFILE: MINISTER of Livestock Michael Katambo (right) sprays insecticide (Lambdacyhalothrin) on an army-worms infested maize field in Masaiti District. On the left is Ministry of Agriculture permanent secretary Julius Shawa and farmer Daniel Makwenda (middle). PICTURE: STAFRANCE ZULU

GOVERNMENT has dispatched an additional 2,000 litres of agricultural chemicals to combat the ravaging army worms which have destroyed over 12,000 hectares of fields on the Copperbelt, acting Minister of Agriculture Michael Katambo has said.
He said the action by Government is a sign of the importance President Edgar Lungu places on agriculture.
“This shows the commitment that the President has towards agriculture because we have always been pronouncing that agriculture is the mainstay of our economy.
“We should not depend too much on copper,” he said.
The minister was speaking when he handed over a consignment of chemicals to Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo at the provincial administration office in Ndola yesterday.
Army worms have invaded some districts in the Eastern, Central, Copperbelt, Luapula and Lusaka provinces.
And Mr Lusambo said the team in the province is working around the clock to overcome the challenges farmers are facing of the caterpillars.
Mr Lusambo said the province is the worst affected but has assured that Government is ready to protect the farmers with the delivery of additional chemicals.
And Government has warned agriculture officers against sabotage in the distribution of chemicals to farmers.
Mr Katambo said there should not be any delays in the handling of the chemicals as Government is spending huge sums of money to curb the army worms.
“The President is emphasising that there is not supposed to be suspicion of sabotage because we hear that there is disruption in the distribution of fertiliser and seed. There are reports of sabotage in the distribution of fertiliser and seed, especially by agriculture officers and block extension officers.”
Mr Katambo said President Lungu released the funds for buying the chemicals to fight the army worms and the farmers should be the beneficiaries of the inputs.

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