AGRICULTURE Minister Dora Siliya says farmers must continue spraying their fields because army worms have not yet been entirely eradicated.

In a ministerial statement yesterday, Siliya told Parliament that although government had contained the outbreak of army worms by distributing pesticides to all provinces, the pests were not completely eradicated.

“The outbreak of fall-army worms has been contained, though not completely eradicated. We therefore urge the farmers to continue spraying their fields until after harvest time as the pests could even attack maize cobs. Government would as well continue with surveillance programmes up to harvest time,” Siliya said.

She revealed that government spent about K21 million to fight army worms.

“Government procured 101,804 liters of various chemicals at a cost of K18 million for control of the pest and were given to affected farmers. An additional K3 million was also provided for the purchase of work suits, boots, sprayers, respirators and for operational funds in all provinces,” said Siliya.

Silya also thanked the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, Zambia National Service and Zambia Air Force, among other institutions which had collaborated with her ministry to distribute pesticides saying such collaborations were a demonstration of effective means to respond to national matters.