21 May 2019

Kenya: Armyworm Outbreak - Kisumu Farmer Stare at Huge Losses

Maize farmers in Kisumu County have been warned of fresh Fall armyworm attack.

Already farmers in Muhoroni are counting losses a few weeks after planting their crops.

Mr Charles Omondi, a Muhoroni-based farmer says the pest continues to destroy his maize farm despite applying pesticides.

LOST HOPE

"With the Fall armyworm infestation, I have lost hope. With the help of county agricultural officers, we have sprayed the maize fields but the pests are still visible," Mr Omondi told Nation.co.ke.

Kisumu County Director for Agriculture Sylvester Oketch says that although farmers have been trained on how to handle the pest, the county does not have adequate chemicals to control the pest.

"Most of the farmers are using their own resources which is inadequate," said Mr Oketch.

BUY CHEMICALS

He added: "We can hardly buy chemicals for even five per cent of the farmers. However, we advising them to use Profen [an insect juvenile hormone analogue that inhibits insect maturation processes] and Marshal chemicals to control the pest."

Farmers have been asked to identify the infected plants and alert agricultural officers.

Mr Oketch has advised farmers to plant early and use chemicals to control the pest.

The national government has already warned that this year's crop will be affected due to delayed rains.

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