Counties

Kisumu trains farmers in war on armyworms

Kisumu Agriculture executive Henry Obade (right) receives armyworm pesticides from Livestock PS Andrew Tuimur . PHOTO | TONY OMONDI | NMG
Kisumu Agriculture executive Henry Obade (right) receives armyworm pesticides from Livestock PS Andrew Tuimur . PHOTO | TONY OMONDI | NMG  

Kisumu County has rolled out farmers training programme in an effort to tame armyworms that have affected more than 5,000 hectares of maize in the region.

Officials said Sh5 million had been set aside for the purchase of pesticides and treated seeds.

County Executive for Agriculture Henry Obade farmers said would get the pesticides and seeds at subsidised prices.

At the weekend over 300 farmers were trained in early detection of the dreaded worms on their maize crops.

Mr Obade said the pesticides will enable farmers to eradicate the pest. “Most farmers are not so keen on identifying the pest hence more destruction.

“They detect it when damage is already done. Our extension officers will be on the ground to help farmers,” he said.

In Kisumu, the pest has been spotted in Maseno, Nyakach and Kano sub-counties.

Mr Obade said part of the funds would be spent on extension services.

Early this month, the government gave the county Sh7.5 million chemicals to fight the pest.

Livestock PS Andrew Tuimur said the pest had been reported in 40 counties. “We are trying all we could to ensure that we control the worm because it has affected many farmers,” he said.

Dr Tuimur said about 20 per cent of the maize could be lost if the worm is not controlled, adding that the government had stepped up efforts to eradicate it.

“This is a very dangerous worm since it affects 80 plant species. From maize, it can move to sugar cane or grass. We are trying through research to find out the best way to deal with it,” he said.