A significant number of Fall armyworm (FAW) were detected in the month of November in the Northern Red Sea region’s sub zones of Gindae and Sheeb.
Mr. Hassen Jimie, head of Agriculture branch at Sheeb sub zone, said that 700 hectares of maize farm in Sheeb sub zone is infested with FAW. Around 7000 hectares of land, 85% of which was sorghum farm, is under cultivation in Sheeb sub zone, and with the exception of 400 heactares of land, it is cultivated using spate irrigation.
According to Mr. Hassen, FAW is becoming a big threat in the sub zone, infesting maize and sorghum, the major crops in the area. The sorghum crops may be resisting the infestation. But if it is not halted, the FAW in the maize fields could become a major source of infestation for other parts of the region and the country as a whole.
Mr. Hassen called on public administration authorities and the people of Sheeb sub zone to make concerted efforts to minimize FAW induced yield loss.
Meanwhile, FAW was reported in the sub zone of Gindae during the month of November. According to Mr. Ghide Kiflay, head of crop production unit in the sub zone of Gindae, 500 hectares of maize farm cultivated using spate irrigation in the administrative areas of Adishuma, Shebah and Metkel-abyet are totally infested with FAW. As a result, farmers of these areas, in collaboration with members of the military, are taking measures to eliminate the FAW infested maize plants.
Mr. Ghide also said that FAW was detected in Sorghum fields planted in 70 hectares of the same administrative areas. The sorghum crops have withstood the infestation, without sustaining any significant harm.
Mr. Ghide called on all farmers of Gindae sub zone to work together and to monitor the 400 hectares of rain-fed maize fields.
During the summer season, the highlands of Eritrea became almost free of FAW infestation thanks to the harmonized efforts of the people and government bodies. These efforts and experience should be put in place in the areas that receive winter rain so as to prevent FAW incidences and ultimately minimize yield loss due to this dangerous pest.