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ZARI MAKING PROGRESS IN CONTROLLING PESTS

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By Angela Limwanya:

The Zambia Agriculture Research Institute-ZARI says it is making steady progress in finding environmentally-friendly methods of controlling pests affecting the agriculture sector in the country.

ZARI Principal Entomologist Mathews Matimelo says it is  important for Zambia to develop environmentally-friendly strategies which farmers can use to replace harmful pesticides.

Mr. Matimelo has explained that the institute in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and the World Agroforestry Centre-ICRAF is conducting a research in three ecological regions of Zambia on how to manage the fall army worm pest using agroforestry and environment manipulation.

He told journalists in Kazungula District  during a field day tour of selected farms under the project in commemoration of the International Day for Biological Diversity which is observed on 22nd May.

And ICRAF Communications Officer Lydia Amanzi said the use of nature-based options to control pests is cost effective and important for small scale farmers to get high crop yields.

Ms. Amanzi said the five-year project, which is in its second year, will also empower farmers with knowledge on intercropping, a practice which helps increase soil fertility.

And farmers interviewed by ZNBC News   said they appreciate the project which is aimed at pest control and helping them with best farming practices.

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