Fall army worms invade crops in Central Kenya

fall army worm photo:courtesy

The Nyeri County Government is fighting the invasion of the destructive fall army worm.

County Executive for Agriculture Robert Thuo said the pest was detected in Othaya, Tetu and Nyeri Central on June 5.

“The pest is spreading rapidly and can destroy wide range of crops including maize, rice, millet sorghum, wheat, cabbages, onions and bananas,” he said.

The pest can cause severe damage to more than 80 plant species especially cereals.

The department of Agriculture, through the extension staff, is in the process of sensitising farmers on pest identification, monitoring and scouting.

“We would like to encourage farmers to use the appropriate pesticides, diversify farming and focus on traditional high value crops such as sweet potatoes and arrow roots,” he said.

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Thuo has appealed to the national Government to intervene and help contain the pest.

As at April 28, the worms invasion had been confirmed in 14 other countries. Kenya has so far lost approximately 15,000 ha of maize, valued at Sh1.3 billion due to the invasion. Agriculture CS Willy Bett has pledged the Government’s drive to control the pest.

 

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