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Limpopo under plague attack


With almost the entire province by now affected by the Fall Army Worm plague that hit the country last week, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has requested affected crop farmers in Limpopo to promptly point out where urgent treatment is required.
In a statement issued this afternoon departmental spokesperson Selby Makgotho said the department has learnt with great concern of the spreading infection to mainly maize crops, and continued saying that a study confirmed that the worm was positively identified from samples collected in Limpopo.
Makgotho indicated that huge impact has been reported in Musina, Ponddrift, Alldays, Vivo, Mokopane, Settlers, Thabazimbi, Levubu, Letsitele, Tzaneen, Groblersdal and some parts surrounding Polokwane, such as Mankweng and Ga-Mashashane.
He mentioned that MEC Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana has convened and instructed a team of experts to trouble shoot the problematic situation and requested frequent reports and update while she would also be visiting some of the affected areas. “The MEC’s stance is that all farmers must be assisted in all means possible to manage, control and recover from this setback,” Makgotho continued stating.
“The department calls upon every affected farmer to promptly indicate where there could be such or strange pests discovered as these pests require correct and urgent treatment. There are interim pest control guides for the use of agricultural chemicals to control infestations suspected to be Fall Army Worm and departmental specialists will assist with such information.
“The department will continue to apply its expertise around the clock in endeavour to have this unfortunate pest situation brought under control. We, whilst requesting farmers to bring to the attention of our district offices any detection in their area, would appeal for less panic and that they remain positive.”