Food Reserve Agency Executive Director Chola Kafwabulula confirmed the outbreak at a media briefing in Chipata yesterday.
“The larger grain borer is one of the most serious pests affecting the agriculture industry.
It is a nuisance such that it can reduce maize to powder in one week. “We are treating this outbreak as an emergency,” Mr. Kafwabulula said.
He said the pest came from farmers who went to sell maize at FRA Mwangazi satellite depot in Chadiza. He disclosed that the said farmers were turned away with their 1,000 bags of maize after it was discovered that their grain was infested with large grain borer.
He said FRA was working closely with scientists from Zambia Agriculture Research Institute to contain the pest.
“We have already started fumigating the affected areas and we quarantined the affected maize. We have immediately stopped the movement of maize from infested areas to non-infested areas,” he said
He added the affected farmers had lost out because they listened to bad advice from stakeholders who stopped them from selling their maize in the hope the floor price would go up.
“These are consequences because they held onto their maize but it is now infested. It is no longer fresh. The maize has been rejected and this has worked against the affected farmers.
“As leaders and as managers we must be careful with instructions that we give to our people because this is a big loss to the farmers who listened to bad advice.”
Most farmers in chadiza are worried with grain borer which have attacked their maize they kept for food.