Andrew Tuimur, who is the Principal Secretary of Agriculture in the State Department of Livestock, said Kenya could lose 16 million bags of maize following the invasion of armyworms which by now cover 20% of maize plantation in Kenya.
PS Tuimur said this in Uasin Gishu when he was visiting armyworm infested areas. He said that more than 200, 000 acres of land across 25 maize growing areas have been plague-ridden by the armyworms.
He called for immediate action to offer a remedy in alleviating the effects of the armyworm attack. “If we don’t take urgent measures we will lose close to 16 million bags of maize which amounts approximately to Ksh50 billion,” Tuimur said, adding that because of this, the government is working together with county governments to develop a means of solving the problem.
Up to now, 325 million shillings has been set aside by the government to purchase pesticides and knapsack sprayers and the process is ongoing. Farmers are, nevertheless not satisfied with this approach.
“The pesticide that we normally use to fight the armyworms is not working now. We have sprayed our crops thrice now but they are wilting,” one farmer complained.