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Desert locusts invade Kisumu County

Tuesday February 18 2020

Desert locust

A resident of Ngere Kamarawa village in Muhoroni, Kisumu County, holds one of desert locust in his farm on February 18, 2020. PHOTO | ELIZABETH OJINA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ELIZABETH OJINA
By ELIZABETH OJINA
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Farmers in Kisumu County are staring at losses as a swarm of desert locusts invaded their farms on Tuesday.   

The invasion could be a big blow to sugarcane farmers amid challenges facing the sector.

SUGARCANE FARMS

According to residents of Ngere Kamarawa in Muhoroni Sub-County, the locusts have been seen in the fields for the past two weeks.

Mr David Otieno, a sugarcane farmer, said that swarm of locusts had invaded sugarcane plantations.

“We have been told they flew from areas of Nyando before coming to our farms.

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The insects multiply very fast and we are fear they will destroy crops,” Mr Otieno.  Muhoroni residents have appealed to the government to help them fight the locust invasion.

DESTROY CROPS

Mr David Oyuka expressed fears the insects will destroy all crops.

"The government needs to act fast and arrest the situation before it gets out of hand. We know they have been spraying other regions attacked by locust,” said Mr Oyuka.

Muhoroni Deputy County Commissioner Erick Wanyonyi appealed to the national and county governments to assess the magnitude of destruction caused by the locust invasion.

"Muhoroni is the food basket of Kisumu County, we should not wait for farmers to start counting losses,” said Mr Wanyonyi.

He added that if the insects are not controlled they could spread to the rice fields in Ahero and Kano schemes.

“We will definitely send our report to the Ministry of Agriculture to see how to combat the locust menace in the county,” Mr Wanyonyi added. 

SPRAYING

Earlier on Tuesday morning, Kisumu County Agriculture department had dispatched officers to assess the situation.

But Kisumu County Agriculture Executive Gilchrist Okuom asked the farmers to remain calm.

"From our team of officers, the insects have no characteristics of desert locusts. However, we advise spraying [them] with suitable insecticides to assuage fears,” said Mr Okuom.

He promised to give a report on type of insects that attacked the farms.

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