Pests, flood threaten Tanzania's bumper harvest

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-25 21:54:14|Editor: ying
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ARUSHA, Tanzania, April 25 (Xinhua) -- There are possibilities of poor crop harvests in Tanzania at the end of this farming season due to the invasion of plant pests, mostly armyworms and Quelea Quelea, and floods in some parts of the east African nation.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday by the Tanzania's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries, the situation is likely to cause food deficit in the regions of Njombe, Tabora, Singida and Manyara as floods destructed infrastructures such as roads and farms.

The floods also destructed irrigation schemes in the western region of Katavi.

In March, this year, the government sprayed pesticides in all the regions which reported the invasion of plant pests and rehabilitated destructed infrastructures.

The ministry said that major pests that attacked crops were quelea, armyworms, rodent and red locust.

Quelea outbreak was reported in Tanzania's southern highlands' key paddy growing areas such as Mbarali (Kapunga Estate), and in northern Tanzania's district of Same (in Ndungu Irrigation Scheme), Moshi Rural District in Lower Moshi and Kahe areas.

The outbreak of armyworms was reported in Lindi, Coast, Morogoro and Rukwa (in Nkasi District), while rodents and locust outbreak occurred in Iringa and Morogoro region (Iringa district, Lindi district, Ruangwa, Kilwa, Kilombero, Kilosa, and Liwale district).

The government by then distributed a total of 120 liters of pesticide in Kilombero district and 50 liters in Rufiji district to fight against armyworms.

On the invasion of new armyworm species in the western region of Rukwa, Mathew Mtigumwe, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries, said recently that the government was aware of the presence of a new species of armyworms which are believed to have entered Rukwa Region via neighboring Zambia.

He said about 15,000 liters of pesticides have already been procured to curb the new worm's threat.

"We have had to bring in new pesticides after it came to our notice that these are a new species known as fall armyworms, that hit maize crops and can't be controlled by the available pesticides," Mtigumwe explained.

According to the official, the ministry has embarked various initiatives to control the worms situation in other regions include Katavi, Mbeya, and Songwe.