Revelations of a report that pests have invaded nearly a half of Mainland Tanzania farms are startling.
Already farmers are worried about looming food shortages as voracious armyworms and rodents have gobbled up plants.
The situation has been exacerbated by dry spells in some parts of the country.
The government has announced that it deployed a team of agriculturalists to train farmers on how to control the menace and that pesticides worth Sh300 million have been distributed to fight armyworms, rodents and crop diseases.
But the February 2018 Food Security Bulletin by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries quotes small-scale farmers as saying the pesticides were brought at the wrong time.
Morogoro farmers acknowledge to have received enough pesticides when the planting season was over. They fear about an acute shortages of maize and rice, the staple crops.
The bulletin notes that a number of regions are at risks of food shortages as rodents invaded more than 32,000 hectares of crops.
What should be done is for private and private sectors to invest in research and development to ensure quality pesticides are supplied in time and are made available at reasonable prices.
Let’s invest heavily in agriculture, the country’s economic mainstay.