“Benue Farmers Expect Good Maize Harvest Despite Worm Attack” Maize farmers in Benue State are expecting good harvest in the next few weeks despite army worm attacks on their farms.
Our correspondent reports that this is the third consecutive year that farmers in the state have had cause to worry over their crops ravaged by the dreaded army worms which appeared to have defied solutions in some areas.
A maize farmer in Otukpo, Sunday Ogili, said the worms attacked his farm when the plants were still tender but that he successfully got rid of them with a chemical recommended to him by an agro dealer.
Ogili, therefore, said he was expecting good yield from his farm in about two weeks’ time despite the initial challenge which took his time, money and knowledge to eradicate. Otherwise he would by now be counting losses.
“Initially, the army worm swooped on my maize farm to cause damage but with the application of recommended chemical, I tackled the challenge headlong. Now, I’m expecting good harvest,” Ogili said.
He explained that most other farmers in his area would also record good harvest except for the few whose harvest will turned out low due to the pest attack.
Ogili, therefore, appealed to government to boost the farmers’ economic activities by providing them with farm inputs as, according to him, most inputs, especially fertilizer, gotten from the open markets are fake.
For Vitalis Tarnongu, a maize farmer in Makurdi, the army worm and a destructive leave eating insect which looked like sand fly attempted to wreak havoc on his four- hectare maize farm but that he tackled them with a chemical he got from reputible agents.
“In my case, it was not only the army worm but another insect which name I don’t know, it looks like sand fly. The insect eats the leaves of the plants but I was able to control it,” he added.
The Benue State chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Aondona Hembe Kuhe, admitted that the infestation which constituted a common problem for maize farmers in the state for some years now has reduced drastically.
Kuhe said with more discoveries, the right chemicals were applied in most farms by the farmers and as such the crops are doing well, with high expectations for good harvest.
Meanwhile, Dr. Lucky Omoigui, a plant breeder in the College of Agronomy, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (UAM) thinks that the maize farmers would have bountiful harvest this year because they have sufficiently tackled the army worms’ threat.
Omoigui said the institution has some effective chemicals sold at cheaper rate than the popular ones recommended to the farmers from other quarters, adding that the farmers have been informed about them.