As farmers in Gombe head back to their farms for this year’s wet farming season, some farmers who planted earlier in the year have sad tales to tell.

They planted early hoping to reap bountifully but the army worm, which invaded their farms had other plans for them.

Farmers in Lafiyawo in Akko Local Government Area of Gombe State, whose crops are currently under attack by the worms, said the invasion has dashed their hope of a bountiful harvest going by a similar experience last year.

Malam Babayo said, "We are still yet to recover from what we experienced in our farms last year and now we are facing the same problem all over again." 

Another farmer, Maxwell Francis, whose farm was affected toldBounce News that he has planted the same crops three times this season.

"I planted for first time, it was destroyed, I planted again, the worms still destroyed them. Now I’m replanting again only God knows what will happen this year," he said.

He added that he has spent over N30,000 on seeds this year.

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Michael Attanyi of the Gombe State Ministry Of Agriculture reacting to the development said that he saw two types of the pest armyworm and stem borer in some farms in Lafiyawo.

He said if the issue is not urgently handled, it could lead to food shortage in the state.

“Armyworm normally eat up leaves of the growing crop while stem borer destroys heart of crops in farms and two of these species in one farm can multiply to 200 in just one week,” he said.

He added that farmers may experience armyworm attack in their farms as a result of planting untreated seeds. He advised farmers to plant treated seeds.

Abba Direba, Director Gombe State Agricultural Development Program (GSADP) called on farmers in Gombe state to come together and fight the pest as that only will guarantee success in eliminating the problem.

Salisu Nafu, a director in Gombe state ministry of agriculture, said farmers should be cautious of using insecticide chemicals in their farms adding that they should rather embrace integrated pest management.

"You see these pests are travelers. They only stop where they can make a living, so protect your farms by digging one or two feet hole round your farms," he said.