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Quelea Bird Outbreak


By Zvikomborero Machirori

The Agriculture Ministry said it has recorded an outbreak of the Quelea Bird in some parts of the Mashonaland Central, Midlands and Mashonaland province.



In an interview with Sly Media Tv Shingirayi Nyamutukwa the acting director of Migratory Pests and Biosecurity Control department in the Ministry said that the Quelea birds are a problem throughout the year and they attack small grain crops.


“Quelea are a problem throughout the year attacking small grain crops from February to May while attacking wheat during the winter season stretching from July to September. So, for this season, we were experiencing outbreaks in areas that had small grain crops at harvesting stages. On the current winter crops, the presence of large flocks has been noted in several parts of the country but no reports of wheat damage has been reported” said Mr Nyamutukwa.



Nyamutukwa also added government is initiating early surveillance and controls during the breeding period this year.


“To curb outbreaks, the Government procured Fenthion 649 ULV then initiated early surveillance and controls during the breeding period early this year so to reduce quelea numbers. Up to date, controls are taking place in Muzarabani areas of Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West areas of Kadoma and Norton, Matabeleland North areas around Pandamatenga, Robins, Deka and Gonarezhou in Masvingo.




“However, because of the migratory nature, our government in partnership with Botswana, thanks to the signed MoU on cooperation in the field of agriculture development and food security, we jointly manage quelea outbreaks in areas bordering the two countries” he said.


Some of the areas that have reported Quelea roosting sites include Muzarabani, Chitomborwizi, Kadoma, Sanyati, Bubi, Mwenezana and Mazowe .


Robert Tapfumaneyi