Mix of fish soup and sugar used to counter fall armyworm in Malawi

Farmers use all means to counter the caterpillar which experts say originates from the Latin America and is different from the African counterpats.

Mix of fish soup and sugar used to counter fall armyworm in Malawi

Farmers use all means to counter the caterpillar which experts say originates from the Latin America and is different from the African counterpats.

26 February 2018 Monday 07:45
Mix of fish soup and sugar used to counter fall armyworm in Malawi

By Azania Post Reporter

Malawians are threatened by severe hunger following a foreign fal armyworm that demolishes their crops.

The drought hit country has her farmers use all means to counter the caterpillar which experts say originates from the Latin America and is different from the African counterpats.

Reuters reports that Malawian farmers are now using fish soup and neem leaves, as well as chemical pesticides to fight the fall armyworm that destroys their crops making them vulnerable to hunger.

The insect has targeted mainly maize which is the main crop used as staple food for majority of the citizens and which covers one fifth of Malawi’s arable land, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

The ministry said the agricultural researchers and farmers are using both local and artificial means in fighting against the fall armyworm.

Joseph Mwanamvekha, Minister for agriculture has been quoted saying 2million people are thought to be affected by the armyworm and are at risk of food shortage.

To ensure that they counter the armyworm, local some local farmers have been applying local means to kill them.

Reuters talked to one of the victims Joyce Thom from a Dedza district, who said has been using crushed neem leaves to her maize stalks as a means of killing the caterpillar.

But she said other farmers mix sugar with fish soup then apply it on maize stems.

Farmer Joyce Thom, for instance, from Dedza district in central Malawi, is applying crushed neem leaves to her maize stalks to kill the armyworm.

Thom explained that the sugar and soup attracts ants that eat the caterpillars and then soil is applied to burry them , suffocating to break the circle.

In response to the crisis, the government banned the export of maize earlier this month.

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