Armored crickets wreak havoc for Chipinge farmers


CHIPINGE – Armored crickets (masenene in Shona) are wreaking havoc in the Lowveld areas of Chipinge where they are destroying crops, a Government agricultural worker has said.

These pests are resisting all chemicals including carbryl that have been applied by farmers so far.

Farmers told Chipinge Times that they wake up every morning to find an increased population of the crickets which breed in thousands and they are destroying crops like millet and sorghum.

There is fear that the harvest of millet, sorghum and maize will be severely reduced.

Chipinge District Agritex Officer, Tapiwanashe Chagwesha urged farmers to literally pick the crickets and harvest them from the fields because they are pesticide resistant due to their hard shells.

Ward 20 councillor, Charles Mugidho said farmers are now harvesting the crickets into sacks which they tie in order to suffocate them inside. After three days they would be dead.

Villagers from Mwacheta said the exercise is a big challenge because the crickets come in larger numbers every morning.

“We expected good yields this season but the hope is getting dimmer because of the crickets,” said Mugidho.

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