Hunger looms as mysterious pest ravages yam farms in Delta community

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Mysterious beetles have reportedly destroyed yam crop in Ute Erumu community, Ika North East local government area of Delta State.

It was gathered that the beetles invaded farmlands in the entire community in April 2018 and has since been destroying yam crop at the early stages.

Farmers under the umbrella of “Farm to Survive” led by Lucky Onute, who spoke to journalists in Asaba on Monday, raised a distress call on the state government, particularly the state Ministry of Agriculture to come to their aid to kill the destructive pest that has been destroying their yams.

While lamenting the damage caused to their yam crops by the beetles, Onute disclosed that if not eradicated, the menace of the beetles to their farmlands may cause them more hunger, adding that, “we can’t harvest yam crop again, The Beetles have finished our yams, they go underground to attack the tubers. We are now exposed to hunger. We need help, the beetles are mysterious the way they invaded our farmlands” .

He regretted that Ute Erumu community that has been known as one of the yam-producing communities in the state, has nothing at present to show in farming, especially at yam farms, disclosing that several pesticides were applied to all the farmlands to no avail.

“We have no yam crops again, beetles have finished them. We have lost a lot of yams to beetles. They spread wild in our farms. We are appealing to the state government, Ministry of Agriculture to help us,” he added.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Austin Chikezie, in a swift reaction, told journalists that the state government had taken steps to ensure that the beetles are eradicated, admitting that the farmers had written to the Ministry for adequate assistance.

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