Maize farmers in Oyo State on Thursday said they had found solution to the menace of armyworms which had been destroying their farms. The Chairman, Maize Growers Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN) in the state, Mr Israel Oluwagbemileke, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Ibadan.
Oluwagbemileke said farmers in the state were spraying juice extracted from Dogoyaro leaves on the crop to kill the pests. He said the treatment had yielded high result, adding, “we boil Dogoyaro leaves, allow it to cool and then spray it on the crop early in the morning or towards evening. “Within few minutes after spraying, the pests will die. They die as soon as the water touches them,” he said. He stressed that the spray should be applied periodically, at least two weeks interval. The chairman said the first application of the juice should take place after two or three weeks of planting to protect the crop from the pest. He, however, said that the juice should be sprayed immediately if the farm is already affected. “After spraying, the leaves become green and the crop begin to germinate well; maize farmers in the state have been using the method.” Oluwagbemileke said that dogoyaro leaves could also be used to preserve grains. “Get the leaves and dry it under a shade and later grind it, put the produce in bag and spread the powder on it. “Arrange the bags one after the other and keep spreading the powder before putting each bag on top. “The good thing is that the grain treated with the powder can stay for a maximum of one year. It cannot affect the quality of the produce,” he said.