17 August 2018
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Wednesday, 07 February 2018 07:42

Chitipa anticipates bumper maize yield amid partial Fall Armyworm attack

Written by  Bishop Witmos
A house with good maize harvest this year in Mkanda Mchinji - File Photo A house with good maize harvest this year in Mkanda Mchinji - File Photo

Chitipa, February 6, 2018: Chitipa District Agriculture Development Officer (DADO), Malumbo Nyirongo says the fall armyworms have not attacked maize fields severely as the damage is pegged at nine percent and the district anticipates bumper yield.

Speaking in an interview with the Malawi News Agency Tuesday, Nyirongo said as at February 4 this year, out of all six Extension Planning Areas (EPAs) in the district, the estimated area that has been attacked by the fall armyworm is 5,133.0 hectares, representing nine percent of the total cultivated land.

He, however, said almost half of the affected area has been sprayed with pesticides such as Chlorpyrifos and Cypermetherin.

“Since the onset of the 2017 to 2018 cropping season, the infestation rate by the fall armyworm is at nine percent, and about 14,500 farming households only have been affected by the outbreak in Chitipa,” Nyirongo said.

“But as of now, we have managed to spray 2,538.0 hectares with pesticides in all the six EPAs, and we hope to harvest bumper yields,” he added.

Nyirongo further said the most affected EPA in the district is Kameme, with 2,215.0 hectares affected.
But Kapoka Ward Councilor in Misuku, Ginlon Mukungu has asked government to provide farmers in Chitipa with drought tolerant crops in order for them to do winter cropping.

He said the area has been affected by dry spell and that affected families may harvest nothing.

During the last season, Chitipa managed to plant rain-fed maize on a total of 31,465 hectares, and during this season, the district has increased cultivation to about 44,000 hectares.


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