Army Worms Destroy Crops & Drinking Water in Bong

By Patrick Stephen Tokpah

Bong County-Several farmers in Zota District#4 and Jorquelleh Electoral District#3 in central Bong County are said to be facing serious challenges in cultivating their farmland as a result of the rampaging of unknown army worms similar to armyworms.

The strange worms are damaging crops and safe drinking water in the areas.

Armyworms are caterpillars that march across the landscape in large groups feasting on young maize plants, wiping out entire fields.

Out Reporter who visited the districts over the weekend said several towns, including Gbarnay Town in electoral District#3, Pelalay Town in Zota District#4, and other surrounding villages are seriously being affected by the crops-killing worms.

Garden egg, pepper, cocoa, and cabbage among others are crops mostly being eaten by the strange worms and this distress for farmers comes at a time when they are planning their new upland farms in this months.

According to the farmers, the situation could exacerbate if nothing is done to remedy the situation as the situation is making life miserable for them.

The Zota and Jorquelleh Districts farmers are appealing to President George Manneh Weah’s government through the Ministry of Agriculture to provide pesticides and other resources so that they as farmers in the two districts can use to combat the worms’ plague that is threatening the district’s food security.

Farmers could lose their crops and pastures if quick actions are not taken to fight the infestation.

“The situation is very serious,” John Tokpah a farmer in Pelalay Town in Zota District#4 said.

He added, “It has affected most of our crops and farmlands areas. A majority of the farmers who are affected are small-scale farmers who produce more than 90 percent of crops.”

Meanwhile, the Agriculture Coordinator for Bong County, Kollie Nah told a local radio through an interview on Friday, June 2, 2023 that the Ministry of Agriculture was dispatching a team to the Districts.

Mr. Nah said the outbreak poses a significant threat to smallholder farmers, mainly maize farmers and it has become a threat to food security in the County.

But an insider has told the New Republic Newspaper that the Ministry will shortly send some Researchers from the Central Agricultural Research to find out the cause of the outbreak.

Zota District is largely semi-arid and produces a variety of crops, and farmers also keep livestock as their economic mainstay.

However, this is not the first of its kind for worm outbreak in Zota, it can be recalled that in 2009 there was armyworm in the District that ravaged farmers’ crops.

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