Locusts invade Rongai farms

Ogilgei Location Chief Ruto Chelule collect locusts scouted on several maize farms in Rongai Sub County. Farmers have raised fears of destruction caused by the locusts.  [Joseph Kipsang, Standard]

Farmers in the county are battling to protect their farms from total destruction after a locust invasion.

A spot check carried out by The Standard yesterday found that the most affected farms are in Ogilgei, Sumet, Ex-Margaret, Turi and Waidai locations in Rongai sub-county.

Samson Mutiga, a resident from Ex-Margaret, said the insects swarmed several farms early this month.

“The locusts feed on Napier grass and maize. We fear they will eventually destroy our farms,” he said.

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Mr Mutiga added that after his maize and Napier grass were attacked, agricultural officers advised him to clear the grass around them to prevent the insects from breeding. He was also told to spray his crops with insecticides.

However, he said despite doing this, the locusts have continued to breed in his farm.

“I have sprayed my crops but the locusts are still coming.”

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Another farmer, Raymond Ng’eno, said locust swarms attacked his farm at Ogilgei last week, leaving him counting losses.

Rongai sub-county agricultural officer Hannah Odour said her office is yet to establish the acres of farms that have been infested, and the extent of the destruction.

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However, she said extension officers have been deployed to the affected areas.

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