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Friday, January 21, 2022

Zimbabwe: Locust Surveillance, Management Begins

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The Plant Safety Analysis Institute has began conducting locust surveillance and management actions to make sure crops are shielded from pest outbreaks within the 2021 -2022 farming season which is anticipated to have above-normal rains.

Head of the institute, Shingirayi Nyamutukwa advised the Herald yesterday that the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Improvement had mobilised assets in partnership with the Meals and Agriculture Group of the United Nations to observe and forecast outbreaks.

“As farmers put together their fields and plant numerous crops, we anticipate that we might expertise pest outbreaks which will wipe out their crops impacting on farmers’ livelihoods, revenue earnings, meals and dietary safety at nationwide stage,” he stated.

“We now have arrange at the least 132 African armyworm traps in six provinces particularly Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Manicaland, Midlands and Masvingo to assist us forecast and monitor locust outbreaks.”

The institute was focusing on to observe the African armyworms (Spodoptera exempta) and the African Migratory Locusts (Locusta migratoria migratoroides) within the nation’s six main cereal producing provinces.

Zimbabwe often experiences outbreaks of the African armyworm on account of moths which can be introduced in via winds that carry rains into the nation throughout the summer time cropping season.

“The traps present data on the presence of the moths effectively in time earlier than harm is brought on. This permits time for the institute to direct chemical substances to areas which can be prone to expertise outbreaks primarily based on the outcomes of the Early Warning System,” Nyamutukwa stated.

Presently, he stated, a complete of 66 members drawn from the Plant Safety Institute, Plant Quarantine Companies and AGRITEX have been being educated in Mutare, Masvingo and Bulawayo on the eLocust3m device that’s utilized in gathering data on locust conditions and monitoring the pest at regional stage.

The coaching which additionally lined locust identification, biology and administration was being funded by the FAO Zimbabwe workplace and the USAID.

The institute has additionally obtained gear and automobiles to assist it in its locust surveillance and management programmes.

“We’re very grateful for the assist now we have obtained. It’ll assist us rather a lot to hold out our surveillance and management programmes in breeding grounds that are in distant components of the nation,” Nyamutukwa stated.