Farmers in Akwa Ibom State have alerted the state government of imminent shortage of food in the state as farmlands across the state have been invaded by dangerous crop pests likely to affect this year’s harvest.
The farmers, who spoke to newsmen in Uyo, the state capital, said crops mostly affected by the invasion include maize, melon, yam, oil palm trees, cassava ,vegetables and cocoyam.
The farmers who spoke through the platform of Organised Farmers Support Network, OFSN, disclosed that stem Borer army worms attacked maize while cassava blight affects cassava stems and leaves resulting in stunted growth.
The farmers, in a letter to the state Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Idongesit Nkanga Secretariat, Uyo, called on the state government to take proactive measures to address the issue to avert hunger in the state in months ahead.
The farmers, in their letter by OFSN Director-General, Prince Ekput Jumbo, said: “We write to convey complains of pests and diseases attack on crops of our farmers in the state and the need for the state government to step in and help farmers in the state. If urgent steps are not taken, the situation could posed serious danger to state government’s policy of food sufficiency.” The farmers while requesting compensation and supply of pesticide, said “If necessary assistance is not rendered timely, farmers are likely to record discouraging harvest.”
The Director General of farmers Support Network told Vanguard that the army of worms have invaded large part of his members’ farm lands and cultivated plots wiping way the entire field in most cases.