Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) has announced that armyworm pest wreaking maize and sorghum plantations has reached Rwanda. It is suspected to have spread from neighboring countries.
It was discovered for the first time in Nyamagabe district, Southern Province, two weeks ago.
The armyworm destroys inner parts of maize corn and leaves. It has been realized that most affected are bushy maize gardens. The insects strip the leaves of even mature maize plants bare.
The Ministry of Agriculture has, via twitter account, asked farmers to maintain their plantations and weed crops to fight against the worm pest.
The Director-General of Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), Dr Mark Cyubahiro Bagabe said “Farmers are encouraged to buy pesticides to apply in the affected plantations. RAB is providing basic support. Local leaders are asked to mobilize farmers to weed their crops and organizing community works to collect armyworms from fields to be burnt.”
The armyworm transforms into a moth which later becomes a butterfly. The butterfly produce eggs in various areas and has the potential of producing 2000 eggs which metamorphose and spread to other crops in not more than 21 days.
The armyworm has been discovered in Gicumbi,Burera districts of Northern Province and Nyamagabe,Ruhango,Nyanza,Kamonmyi,Huye,Gisagara,Nyaruguru,Muhanga districts in Southern Province.
It has also affected Bugesera, Gatsibo, Kayonza, Nyagatare, Rwamaganaand Kirehe in Eastern Province and Rubavu, Nyabihu, Ngororero, Rutsiro, Karongi, Nyamasheke and Rusizi in Western Province.
Farmers have been urged to apply pesticides of Rocket, Lambda cyhalothrin or Supermethrin in regions affected by the army worm. Each liter can be used to fight against army worms at one hectare.
Any farmer in need of support to fight against the army worm can call RAB on a toll free line at 4675.