Gauteng farmers urged to be vigilant of FAW

Friday, February 10, 2017

Pretoria – The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) has urged farmers to be on the lookout for the Fall Army Worm (FAW) so they can get help on time.

The MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Lebogang Maile, said that the invasion of the worm, which is ravaging crops in some parts of the country, requires a coordinated approach by all stakeholders involved.

MEC Maile said the department is in touch with farmers and the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to ensure a coordinated intervention.

“The department has already dispatched a crop scientist to verify suspected infestation in the Bronkhospruit area, where the worm has affected yellow maize planted on 45 hectares of land.

“Suspected pest infestations were also detected in the north and the north-east of Pretoria. GDARD experts continue to be on high alert in responding to situations that may affect farmers in the province,” said MEC Maile.

He warned that the spread of the army worms is a potential threat to food security and it negatively impacts on the economic activities of small scale farmers in the province.

"Farmers cannot afford any further setbacks following the end of a long rainless season."

He urged farmers in the province to contact their nearest regional offices to enable timely interventions by experts.

Farmers near Randfontein regional office can contact Lesego Phakedi on 011 411 4300/076 422 2501.

In Germiston, they can contact Seabata Maoba on 011 240 3077/076 421 9597 and in Pretoria, they can call Anton Maswikaneng on 012 316 1687/076 422 1998.

Shandukani Netshifhefhe from head office can be contacted on 011 240 2500/082 728 8896.

The FAW, a new pest to South Africa, was identified from samples collected in Limpopo province. Moths were also collected on 3 February 2017 from the northern parts of Gauteng and were positively identified as FAW. – SAnews.gov.za

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