An armyworm outbreak which has been around in the country has now taken a new dimension, devastating crops and more.
Armyworm outbreak began in Oyo state and has spread very quickly to Ondo, Edo and other states two years ago.
Nigeria’s Agric minister; Audu Ogbeh has stated recently that food production in the country is not affected by the outbreak.
According to him; “Right now, there is hardly any state that is not affected by this pest.
“The problem with armyworm is that, it hides right deep in the stem that even if you spray ordinary spray crop, it won’t stop it.
“They come out at night, so, farmers have to be on alert at night or very early in the morning to spray the chemical, which is difficult and the spray is done vertically and not horizontally.’’
He explained that some of the chemical used were not very safe.
The country was looking for organic chemical, including lime which is good.
“Some professors have started developing how to manage this; then, we can deal with it in no time.
“That is why this seminar is very vital. We have to train the trainees, who will be going to states to teach farmers on how to spray their farms.
Ogbeh, however, advised Nigerians not to panic, but keep working to improve production, adding that the country was already getting support from experienced Organisations to mitigate the problem.
“This issue happened in Europe and they were able to curtail it. Our own climate encourages the development of all kind of pests because it is so warm here, but we shouldn’t be scared,” he said.
We added: An armyworm is a destructive garden pest gets its name because it travels in small insect armies and consumes just about everything in its path and so many ways of controlling the pest include;
- Avoid using harmful pesticides or practices that would inadvertently destroy beneficial insects, your first line of natural defense.
- Plant to attract birds and beneficial insects. Birds are especially fond of the moths and will pull larvae from lawns and plants. In the fall, uncover and turn your soil before putting it to bed, giving birds a chance to pick off the exposed pupae.
- Use fast-acting organic insecticides if pest levels become intolerable.