Maize farmers in Kano state are presently facing a tough time as Armyworms are ravaging their farms. Many farmers are already pleading with the authorities to find a solution to the annual calamity, which causes them millions in losses.
Farmers Voice NG correspondent reports that many maize farms in Bunkure, Kura and Garun Malam local governments have already been destroyed by the challenge.
Alhaji Yahaya Bunkure one of the maize farmers in Bunkure local government, expressed worry that maize farmers across different areas of the state were presently affected by the same unfortunate fate as the Armyworms continue to spread, devouring and devastating germinating plants.
“It was Armyworms that attacked our fields. They appear any time; in the dry or rainy season,” said Alhaji Yahaya Bunkure whose field has been devastated.
Jibrin Bala is another maize farmer in Kura local government. He said the attack is gradually spreading to more farm fields across the maize-producing areas in the state.
He also added that all maize farmer’s efforts to prevent the outbreak of the pest on their farm came to no avail. “I am worried that peasant farmers are suffering. We are doing our best. But, we are yet to arrive at a good chemical which can take care of the (Armyworm) infestation,” he said.
The state chairman of Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria (MFAN), Malam Munkaila Garba described the attack as a major challenge facing efforts to achieve food security in the country since many farmers were losing most of their produce to the pest.
He also appealed to the state and federal governments to come and assist the farmers with pesticides and other modern farming equipment.
Available records indicated that the first outbreak of Armyworm was detected in Central and West Africa in 2016 and has now spread to most of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Nigeria is the largest African producer with nearly 8 million tons a year, followed by South Africa. Maize is cooked in various ways and millions of Africans rely on this crop because it usually costs less than wheat, rice and other common grains and cereals.