Armyworms infestation raises fresh concerns

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The fall armyworms can cause great damage to plantations
The fall armyworms can cause great damage to plantations

The infestation of fall armyworms has raised concerns once again, with farms in Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu and Kericho Counties affected. Farmers have urged the government to quickly intervene and deal with the situation after the armyworms destroyed crops last year in Western and Rift Valley provinces.

Agriculture CS Mwangi Kinujuri noted that the armyworms infestation has come earlier than expected, and now they are attacking young crops. The CS said a team has been sent to Brazil to know the best ways of managing the infestation. “Brazil has taken years to control the pests, so it won’t be easy,” said Kiunjuri.

He said on Friday a team led by a PS in the Ministry of Agriculture to the North Rift and other parts of the country where the armyworms have infested, adding that the fight against the pests should start early enough, with different control methods to be used.

On Thursday, Trans Nzoia Agriculture CEC Mary Nzomo said it’s unfortunate they have invaded this early and the impact may be severe. She revealed that farmers are being educated and pesticides to be sprayed are being distributed to enable them to tackle the pests.