EU provides US$ 75,000 to contain the spread of the armyworm outbreak in Zimbabwe
The European Union has provided US$ 75,000 in efforts to contain the spread of the armyworm which feeds on cereal crops and pastures. The voracious caterpillar has been detected in some parts of Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West, Midlands and Matabeleland North and South provinces. The funds, channelled through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), will enable the Government of Zimbabwe to purchase chemicals and fuel for use in containing the outbreak.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development, Mr Ngoni Masoka has welcomed the support: “This support will go a long way in complementing Government’s efforts in supporting agriculture as part of the broader strategy to improve productivity.”
Armyworm outbreaks occur in Zimbabwe on maize and small cereal grains in summer and on irrigated wheat and barley crops in winter, if conditions are favourable for it. If left unattended, the armyworm can extensively damage cereal crops in their early growth stages and pastures, as it continuously feeds day and night.
Through this support, EU and FAO are seeking to contribute to wider efforts towards food security and poverty reduction in Zimbabwe, by helping to improve cereal production.