Govt intensifies fight against pestilent quelea birds.

by | Aug 27, 2021 | Business | 0 comments

  • As quelea birds pause a threat on winter wheat harvest

Brian Rungano Temba

 

The Government has began serious preperations towards fighting the pestilent quelea bird, in efforts to retain a good winter wheat harvest .

Minister for Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Hon Monica Mutsvangwa said this during a post cabinet briefing on Wednesday August 25, 2021.

“Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that the early planted wheat is now at booting stage in most provinces.

Bird repellent has been procured to ensure efficient control of the quelea birds that have been sighted in all provinces.

Government has begun a nation-wide identification of roosting places of quelea birds,” said Hon Mutsvangwa.

Hon Mutsvangwa said government will require the assistance of farmers by providing surveillance information on the roosting places, and additionally can collect bird repellant from their nearest GMB depots to protect their crops.

“The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has been engaged to ensure efficient control of the birds,” she added.

In 2020 quelea birds invaded parts of Nyamandlovu and Bubi commercial farming areas in Matabeleland North and destroyed ripe wheat.

Quelea birds, whose population is estimated to be 1,8 billion in 25 world countries, cause extensive damage to cereal grains, especially wheat, rice, barley, sorghum and millet at (dough) and ripening stages.

Breeding occurs entirely outside the Highveld region and natural reserves starting in January after sufficient rains.

In winter, they move in large numbers and therefore tend to be a problem during this time of the year.

Early in July this year flocks of quelea birds were spotted in Matebeleland North hitting Sorghum and peal millet fields signaling a serious threat to this year’s winter wheat harvest.

In the past quelea birds have been known to devastate areas in Middle Sabi, Pandamatenga, Nyamandlovu, Bubi and Chipinge.