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10,000 acres invaded by Armyworm in Kisumu

More than 10000 Acres of maize, sorghum and pasture land in Kisumu County have been destroyed by Armyworm.

As a result of this, farmers in all the seven sub counties; Muhoroni, Nyakach, Nyando, Kisumu East, Kisumu West, Seme and Kisumu Central are faced with imminent hunger as the food security situation is threatened.

The Chief Officer for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries Dr Paul Omanga addressing Sub County Administrators and Agricultural technical staff who converged in Kisumu to brainstorm on how best to contain the armyworm invasion that has affected the seven sub-counties in Kisumu. By Lorine Awino

This has jolted Kisumu County government into action as they convened an emergency meeting that brought together sub county administrators and agricultural specialists including the Chief Officer Dr Paul Omanga.

Speaking with KNA, the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Gilchrist Okuom said they have moved to raise awareness on the catastrophe among local farmers.

Okuom said the Armyworm invasion has affected the entire Western Kenya Region with Muhoroni Sub County being the most affected.

He said the food security situation has also been compromised and so the county has had to take drastic measures aimed at curbing further spread of the worms.

“We call upon the national government to help spearhead mitigating measures that will require hefty spending in terms of resource mobilization from the national treasury and other development partners in the entire region,” he stated.

Dr Omanga, said they have embarked on measures aimed at devising effective ways to deal with African armyworm outbreak in Kisumu County and the neighbouring areas where the worms have destroyed crops and pasture land.

The Chief Officer appealed to farmers to take the step of faith by purchasing the necessary drugs from Agrovets instead of waiting on the government to do something.

Dr Omanga warned that unless something is done fast to contain the worms, Kisumu County faces an imminent hunger as the cost of produce will automatically shoot up.

“This is why we are working on how to devise ways and means of working with our development partners even as we go about conducting training in all the wards teaching farmers on how best to counter worm attacks,” he explained.

He revealed that more than 10,000 acres of maize, sorghum and pasture land have been invaded by armyworms and that has necessitated county government to buy chemicals and pesticides to help contain the armyworms.

The Chief Officer said more than 400,000 households in the rural areas of Muhoroni, Nyando and Nyakach among other areas have felt the greatest impact of the invasion.

By Joseph Otieno and Joseph Ouma

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