Friday, June 30, 2017 10:22 pm
Farmers in Lokotiye Community, near Karu Local Government Area in Nasarawa State, on Friday urged the Federal Government to assist them in efforts to tackle the armyworm invasion of their farms.
Some of the farmers, who spoke to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Karu, said that the worms had wreaked havoc on their maize farms.
They moaned that armyworms had ravaged their maize farms to such an extent that if nothing was done on time, there would be no maize for them to harvest this year.
One of the farmers, Mr Paul Ibrahim, said that he cultivated about seven hectares of maize farms this year but added that virtually all the crops had been destroyed by the armyworms.
He appealed to the Federal Government to come to the aid of the farmers by providing them with pesticides to kill the worms.
Ibrahim also urged the government to subsidise the cost of the chemicals so as to make them affordable since most the farmers were poor.
“Due to the armyworm plague, many farmers in the community may not be able to have good harvests this year, as the worms have wiped out several maize farms,’’ he said.
He solicited the assistance of the Federal Government and the Nasarawa State Government for the farmers’ efforts to overcome the pest invasion, as part of efforts to boost the country’s food security.
Another farmer, Mr Samuel Magaji, also urged the government to initiate practical strategies to contain the incursion of their maize farms by armyworms.
According to him, the farmers may not harvest any maize from their farms this year if nothing is done to wipe out the pest from their farms.
Magaji noted that the farmers had tried to eradicate the armyworm invasion on their own but to no avail.
He said that the farmers had no other means of livelihood, adding they and their dependants depended on the farms for survival.
“If we cannot get good harvests from our farms, we will be ruined; and our families will suffer greatly,’’ he said.
Magaji recalled that in the previous year, maize farmers in the community had bumper harvests, adding, however, that such prospects were no longer feasible this year.
“I made almost N500, 000 from my maize farms last year but this year, I doubt if I will make up to N200,000,’’ he said.
Mrs Latia Madaki , another farmer in the community, recounted her ordeal since the invasion of her maize farms by armyworms.
Madaki, a widow with five children, moaned that she might not be able to cater for her family any longer as a result of the pest invasion of her maize farms.
Madaki called on the government to rescue maize farmers in the neighbourhood from their harrowing predicament by initiating plans to eradicate the pest invasion.