Government to intervene on fall army worm infestation

The county government of Elgeyo Marakwet will soon start distributing pesticides to farmers following an invasion of army worms in various parts of the county.

The County Chief Officer in the Department of Agriculture and Irrigation Timothy Kiptum said the national government through the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (Kephis) will supply pesticides to all counties affected by the destructive pests.

“The plant inspectorate department in the national government is going to offer pesticides as soon as the extent of the damage is established by the ward agricultural officers,” he said.

While addressing the press at his office in Iten, Kiptum assured the farmers that the government has received the information and was taking steps to contain the spread of the harmful pests.

As part of prevention and early diagnosis, the CO said that the county agriculture department was in the process of establishing plant clinics that will enable farmers to identify these kinds of worms immediately they start attacking crops to prevent their spread and losses.

While noting that the intervention for the pest infestation is ongoing the Chief Officer expressed concern that if the infestation continues it is likely to affect yield this year.

He urged farmers to report pest’s infestation through the ward agricultural officers and ward administrators so that the information is relayed to the right authorities.

The situation comes after farmers in parts of Soy South and Sambirir wards reported the invasion of their crops by the fall army worms.

The farmers from the areas of Chepsigot in Keiyo South have lamented over the loss of acres of crops to the fall army worms reported early this week.

Gideon Kosgei, a farmer from Chepsigot said that he is counting losses after the army worms destroyed his crops yesterday saying this will affect him economically as he relies on his farm not only to feed his family but also to cater for his other financial needs.

“These fall army worms have destroyed maize crops and grass in the farm as it has covered up to twenty acres and destroys up to half an acre each hour,” he said.

Kosgei says that he has already reported the matter to the chief and agricultural officers in the ward and is expecting action from the county government.

The distressed farmer has called upon the county to intervene before the situation worsens as the worms have spread to other crops like watermelon.



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