The Institute of Agricultural Research and Institute (IAR&T), Moor Plantation, Ibadan has attributed the recent reported infestation of army worm on maize farms in the South West, to climate change due to rainfall after long dry spell.
Stakeholders at a one-day sensitisation and training of stakeholders and farmers in the South West on Thursday, added that the infestation was consequent upon the development of army worm into moth-like insects which destroys the maize farms causing damage of the leaf, stunted growth of maize plants, yielding to low yield.
Director of the Institute, Professor James Adediran, in his welcome address recalled the observance of the pest and army worm attack on farms in March after the first rain.
Upon this, Adediran noted that the institute swung into action through research and survey into the cause of the menace to farm yield.
Mrs B.O Lawal, giving a report of the survey hinted that the survey was conducted in 74 farms in five states of the South West-Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, and Kwara State in North Central, showed that moth was a major destructive pest.
One of the researchers, Dr Olukemi Oluyemi, in her presentation advocated control measures like cultural control, good field hygiene, regular field monitoring, burning of previous crop residue, planting of resistant seeds, and chemical control.”
She also called for the devotion of more funds to the institute to embark on more projects while also urging government to encourage farmers to insure their farms.
Regional Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Adedoyin Awe, who was represented by Mr Olugbenga Awe, noted the importance of such sensitizations to prevent such pests invasion like the Tuta Absoluta popularly referred to as “Tomato Ebola”.
One of the farmers, Adekunle Ibikunle from Aborisade village in Ibarapa East Local Government, Oyo state decried that the pest had destroyed his maize farm of about three hectares of land.