alexa Desert locusts now invade muguka farms in Embu - Daily Nation

Desert locusts now invade muguka farms in Embu

Sunday January 26 2020

Locusts in Embu

A swarm of locusts that invaded Kiambere and Mutuavale villages in Embu County, as pictured on January 25, 2020. PHOTO | GEORGE MUNENE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

GEORGE MUNENE
By GEORGE MUNENE
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Desert locusts are wreaking havoc in muguka farms in Embu County as farmers continue grappling with the menace.

The locusts landed in Mbeere South on Friday evening from Kitui and are ravaging shrubs and green pastures in Kiambere and Mutuavare villages.

They have now spread to Mariari and Mavuria villages where muguka is grown in large scale.

Following the invasion, desperate farmers are using pepper smoke in a bid to chase away the voracious insects.

“We are burning pepper to produce smoke so as to ward off the insects but the method is not working," one of the farmers said.

SPREADING FAST

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The farmers lamented that the locusts were spreading too fast and may wipe out muguka and other crops which they depend on for survival.

Mbeere South MP Geoffrey King’ang’i said the situation is of grave concern and called for urgent government intervention.

"We want the government to ensure extensive spraying of locusts which are destroying crops in the area," he said.

The affected residents said they expected a bumper harvest following the recent heavy rains but, with the invasion of the insects, they may not get much.

Mbeere South Deputy County Commissioner Charles Igiha has already stated that the government is taking the matter seriously.

Mr Igiha said the Ministry of Agriculture has already been informed of the invasion.

He assured the residents that the insects will soon be controlled and told them not to panic.

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