Livestock PS launches Fall Armyworm pesticide

The national government has distributed insecticides worth Sh7.5 million to assist farmers in Kisumu County combat the deadly Fall Army Worms.

Livestock Principal Secretary Dr. Andrew Tuimur said the 1, 500 litres of chemical was part of the Sh325 million consignment procured by the national government to contain the worms that have affected 40 counties.

Dr. Tuimur said 20 percent of maize across the country had been infested by the Fall Army Worms which are difficult to control because they feed at night.

The PS said the government was through the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) research on how best to manage the worms which have been reported in the country for the first time.

He urged farmers to make good use of the pesticides and spray their crops in the evening when the worms are active to curb the spread.

The PS reiterated that both national and county governments would continue to support farmers to fight the worm, with more funds allocated in 2017/2018 financial year.

The worm, which has six larvae stages, is capable of affecting almost 80 species of plants and the government through KALRO has done research on the best way to eradicate them soonest with biological methods where a pest is introduced to eat another being tested and fronted.

He asked farmers to use integrated pest management methods and at the same time keep their farms clean to keep pests at bay.

Kisumu County Executive Committee member in charge of agriculture Mr. Henry Obade said the county government had distributed more chemical worth Sh5 million free of charge to farmers.

He added that more funds shall be availed in the next financial year to purchase pesticides and sensitise farmers on how to manage the pests.

Source: Kenya News Agency