The Zambian government has sought help from the army to help fight against an invasion of caterpillars that has ravaged corn fields and threatened the country’s food security.
“The Airforce has started transporting insecticides to provinces affected by the insects,” Zambian presidential spokesperson Amos Chanda said in a statement issued Wednesday evening.
“The president (Edward Lungu) has ordered that purchased chemicals be distributed throughout the country,” he added.
“If the legionary caterpillars in Africa cannot be overcome, the president fears that the 2016-2017 harvest will be bad,” Chanda said.
The caterpillar invasion has been reported in four of the ten provinces of Zambia, all located in the center of the country (Copperbelt, Luapula, Central and Lusaka).
According to the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Julius Shawa on Thursday at a press conference in Lusaka, “all the four provinces have not been affected, only certain districts.”
The caterpillars are a major threat to maize crops which are largely depended on a by the Zambian population for food.