Government gives pesticide to contain fall army worms in Murang’a

The National government has rolled out distribution of assorted pesticides to contain spread of fall army worms in Mount Kenya region.

On Tuesday, Department of Plant Protection Services gave out 1, 500 litres of assorted chemicals to Murang’a county government to help in fighting the pests which are wreaking havoc in maize farms.

The Head of Plant Protection Services, Phineas Nyaga said the national government has moved with haste to control the worms which have affected more than 200, 000 hectares in the country.

He said Fall Army worms have infested maize farms in 25 counties and 800,000 hectares were currently prone to the pests.

Only few counties in Coastal and North Eastern regions are not affected by Fall Army worms reported in the country in March this year, said Nyaga.

The pest, he said, multiplies very fast and there was need to control them at tender age as they become resistant to chemicals at mature stage.

He explained the Fall Army worms are dangerous as they pose big danger to food security, and advised farmers to be on look out for the presence of the worms in their farms.

Speaking after receiving the chemicals, Murang’a county Executive Member for Agriculture, Albert Mwaniki welcomed the move by the national government to donate pesticides and offer training on how to control the worms.

He divulged that 200 hectares of maize farms were affected by the fall army worms in the county, raising fears of reducing maize production.

The county government has been engaging farmers on methods of controlling the worms so to stop spread of the pests to other farms, said Mwaniki, adding that the county is expecting big maize yields following provision of seeds and fertilizer to the farmers by the county government.

The county executive said maize was grown in an estimated 35, 000 hectares of land in the region, and the impact of the pest may be dangerous as it may lead to food insecurity.

Meanwhile, monkeys were also posing a threat to maize yield in the county as their population had greatly increased.

We appeal to Kenya Wildlife Services to employ strategies on how to control monkeys in this county as they were even resulting to attacking people, Mwaniki noted.

He said the primates had greatly damaged farm produce as they searched for food, adding that some farmers have opted to kill them.

Source: Kenya News Agency