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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Low yields feared as stalk borers hit NW Tanzania 

ARUSHA, Tanzania, (Xinhua) -- Farmers in northwestern Tanzania are in fear that there will be low maize and sorghum harvest this year following a fresh invasion of maize stalk borers, which have so far destroyed more than 200 hectares of farms.

Local leaders said Wednesday that the highly affected farmers are those located in Busega District in Simiyu Region and Tarime district in Mara Region.

Juma Chacha, Busega District’s Agriculture, Irrigation and Cooperative Officer, confirmed the invasion into maize and sorghum farms, describing the pests as the most dangerous for maize and sorghum.

“We have dispatched experts to the affected areas where they have started educating farmers on how to kill them,” the official said.

He said the pests had caused a serious damage to the maize plants in Busega district, where 111 hectares of farms have been completely destroyed.

Dalai Kaloya, a 58-year-old farmer, claimed to have used all types of insecticides but the pests still spread to all the farms in the village.

“Our fear is that if nothing happened, these pests will completely destroy our crops ... putting us into serious hunger,” he said, imploring the government to assist them with proper insecticides so that they can kill the pests and replant the farms before the rains end.

Julius Nestory, chairman of Sanga village, said the government should take immediate measures to control the worms since they pose hunger threat to the people of Busega district.

Isack Lugembe, Ngasamo Ward Councilor, said some farmers tried to fight stalk borers by spraying traditionally made insecticides, hence the need to educate and provide them with proper pesticides.

             

 

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