Tharaka-Nithi farmers warned of possible locust invasion

Wednesday March 18 2020
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Farmers in Tharaka-Nithi County have been warned of a possible invasion of locusts which are already wreaking havoc in the neighbouring Meru County. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ALEX NJERU

Farmers in Tharaka-Nithi County have been warned of a possible invasion of locusts which are already wreaking havoc in the neighbouring Meru County.

In a press statement on Thursday, county Agriculture Executive Njue Kaithungu asked residents, especially those in Tharaka North and South that border Meru County, to immediately report to the administrative offices once they spot the insects.

“We are on high alert because the insects are likely to arrive in our county any time from today considering that they are moving very fast,” said Mr Kaithungu.

CHEMICALS

He said he is already mobilising resources and consulting the national government on the recommended chemicals in order to battle them in case they invade.

Mr Kaithungu asked farmers to try and quickly harvest as much of their crops as they can to avoid incurring huge losses in case of a locust invasion.

He noted that in case of the attack, the insects are likely to cause a huge loss because crops such as green grams, millet, sorghum, cowpeas and maize among others are just maturing.

NORTHERN KENYA

The desert locusts, which have been devouring vegetation in north-eastern Kenya, were reported in Ndumuru in Igembe North, Meru County, on Tuesday.

More swarms have also invaded neighbouring Garbatulla and Merti in Isiolo County.

According to Food and Agriculture Organisation, locusts are a serious threat to agriculture and can jeopardise food security and people’s livelihoods.

The insects multiply very fast and can relatively fly for up to 100 kilometres in a day, moving at a speed of about 16 to 19km/h, especially when moving towards the direction of wind.