Queleas raid Tshovani scheme

By Sharon Chimenya


AN invasion of quelea birds, which are proving a menace to the national winter
wheat production, has hit Masvingo Province.
Tshovani Irrigation Scheme in Chiredzi and some parts of Mushandike Irrigation
Scheme have reported huge quelea bird invasions.
Quelea birds are a threat to summer subsistence small grains and commercial winter
cereal crop.
Each tiny bird can feed on 4 grams of wheat a day.
In an interview, Provincial Director Agricultural Advisory Rural Development Service,
Caristo Masiiwa, said efforts are in place to control the quelea birds.
"We are rounding off the winter wheat season and we are focusing on quelea bird
control. We are mobilising our farmers to guard against quelea birds.
“We have also had a challenge in Tshovani irrigation, where we have quelea birds
that are suspected to be coming from over Save River from the Green Fuel sugar
cane fields in Chisumbanje."
He said farmers should monitor the direction where the birds are coming from and, in
the evening the direction they will fly to in order to ensure effective control.
"We have engaged, at national level, with the management and we have efforts in
place meant to control the quelea birds, which are a menace to the wheat crop.
“Generally as a province we don't have much issues with the quelea birds. Of
course, we have had reports from Mushandike and Tshovani irrigation schemes but
generally reports across the province of quelea bird menace is not all that
pronounced," he said.

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