Rain brings more crop pests and diseases

13 January 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

The good rainfall across the country have resulted in crop pests and diseases being reported, according to the agriculture ministry.

The executive director in the ministry, Percy Misika, says for the past four years Namibia has been invaded with new invasive species of crop pests and diseases, which were prompted mainly by the severe drought.

Trans-boundary crop pests and diseases such as armoured ground cricket, African armyworm, fall armyworm, tomato leaf miners, fruit fly and African migratory locusts are likely to be reported in the ten crop-growing regions.

These regions are Kavango East, Kavango West, Zambezi, Kunene North, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke.

“Crop production is increasingly under threat due to plant pests and diseases, hence there is a need to apply pest and disease control measures,” said Misika.

What to do

He therefore advised crop farmers to visit their fields regularly for early pest and disease detection.

The best time to conduct scouting around fields is in the early morning.

Once pests are detected, farmers are advised to apply control methods such as picking, destroying pests and applying sand to suffocate the pests.

“Simultaneously, farmers should inform agriculture extension officers about any pest or diseases causing damage to their fields.”

Misika said agriculture extension officers will instruct farmers on the measures to be taken, including the correct pesticides to ensure good crop management.

The ministry further urges crop farmers to make use of the subsidised services available under the Dry-Land Crop Production Programme, which are affordable.

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