THERE has been a shift from harvesting fall armyworms, locally referred to as mopane worms, for subsistence to trading them in both rural and urban markets.
The Regional Councillor for the Otjinene Constituency, Erwin Katjizeu, is teaching the community of Otjinene how to harvest the warms and make them marketable.
Farmers who were recently complaining about the outbreak of mopane worms in both the Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions are now harvesting the worms to sell them.
Apart from making profits, farmers are also harvesting them to control them as the mopane worms reproduce very fast, and in large numbers.
Katjizeu said he saw many cars driving in the constituency to harvest the worms.
“I woke up early morning and collected worms weighing about 25 kg and I plan on harvesting more. It is important that the community harvest the worms and make money while doing it,” said Katjizeu.
Okakarara Constituency Councillor, Vetaruhe Kandorozu, said that people flock to Okakarara to collect the mopane worms with the purpose of selling them in other towns.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has in the meantime issued a public notice to farmers and the general public on the mopane worm outbreak in the Zambezi region, as well as African Army Worms in the Oshana, Oshikoto and Omusati regions.
Executive Director of the environment ministry, Percy Misika, said the regions with pesticides were directed to start with the spraying program immediately in order to contain the pests in areas where they have been reported.
All the crop-growing regions are directed to intensify awareness campaign throughout the local radio services in order to educate the farmers on the identification, ecology and control of the pests.