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FALL ARMY WORM THREATENING FOOD SECURITY

Fall Army Worm feeds on crops [File photo]

By Loro Louis Yugu

Fall Army Worm [FAW] is destroying crops at Tokiman West area of Rejaf County.

As a peasant, I have visited some household farms and witnessed the ongoing damage caused by the worm.

I urge the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to quickly step up efforts to curtail this destructive pest to avoid food insecurity.

I believe in the saying that prevention is better than cure. Certainly, other areas outside the vicinity of Juba may be experiencing the same scenario.

I hear of agriculture extension officers but they are nowhere to be seen in the field or within the populace. If they are in the ministry’s premises, let them come out and deliver services. Why should an extension officer leave the poor to battle with the Fall Army Worm alone?

I understand that the ministry has earlier developed a five-year strategic plan to eradicate fall armyworm.

This is a cheerful move that should not end on airwaves. Farming communities are in dire need of fumigators to spray on the crops to eradicate the pests.

The national focal point of Fall Army Worm control program in the Ministry of Agriculture that revealed the five-year strategic plan early this year should now come out and help local famers in fighting the Fall Army Worm to boost food security.

In this regard, I am appealing to the Directorate of Plant Protection in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to really come out and help the household farmers who are ignorant on the management of the pests and are unable to access technical advice from the concerned authorities.

Much as the conflict has remained low over the past years, farmers have been seriously compelled to plant crops for domestic consumption in order to eradicate hunger at family level.

That means there is need to seriously engage the local communities in farming activities by supply of farm tools and other necessities for better harvest. This is the only way to kick hunger out of the country.

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