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Act to stop army worm menace in Western

EDITORIAL
By The Standard | March 31st 2017

 

While the onset of the rains was greeted with relief this week, two new threats have emerged that farmers must contend with. First, the destructive army worms, until recently reported to cause crop damage in parts of neighbouring Uganda, have been spotted in Kenya. The Kenya Seed Company has raised the alarm after the worms were seen in parts of Trans Nzoia and Kisii Counties.

A farmer in Kakamega County has also reported the loss of eight acres of crop to the worms. In effect, counties neighbouring Kakamega; Busia, Bungoma and Vihiga are at risk. The second threat is the re-emergence of the Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease in Bomet County where it first broke out in 2011.

Low rainfall levels last October and November led to 23 of the 47 Kenyan counties experiencing severe drought and food shortages. The severity compelled the Government to declare the drought a national disaster in February 2017. Consequently, Sh7.3 billion was set aside for food aid to the affected areas.

The two new threats demand that the Government goes the extra mile to provide pesticides and trained staff to ensure proper usage to aid in eradicating them. Nothing should be allowed to stand in the way of enhancing food production and food security for Kenyans.

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