By: LEOPOLD OBI
RESEARCHERS AT Bayer East Africa, a farm chemical manufacturer, have come up with two products they believe can control the stubborn Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease.
The two products named Gaucho and Imadaclopid will be available to farmers before the end of this year, the scientists said.
John Kanyingi, Bayer Crop Science Division Head of Marketing, says Gaucho is used for seed treatment, therefore, protecting the crop against aphids attack at a younger stage.
“Usually the aphids attack the maize plant at an early stage. However, when seeds are dressed with this chemical, the aphids will suck it and die,” Kanyingi explained.
Erick Bureau, the managing director Bayer East Africa, said it took their scientists about three years to research and register the chemical products and advised farmers to observe farm hygiene as one way of controlling MLND.
He pointed out that the two pesticides are awaiting regulatory approval before they are released into the market.
“The biggest challenge facing farmers in Africa is not pesticides, but rather less use of fertiliser in farms, poor seed quality and poor farm management,” Bureau said.
He pointed out that the continent spends over Sh45 billion on food importation yet it could produce its own, adding more innovations will offer solutions to food insecurity.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION