Farmers in Kimutwa of Kalama in Machakos County are in anguish as Armyworms have destroyed all their crops resulting in big losses and grief.
Speaking to the media in Kimutwa of Kalama ward on Wednesday, Village elder Mutuku Mutua from Kimutwa market says he has three children that need fees but the crops on his 4-acre farm have all been destroyed by the worms.
“I don’t know what to do because the army worms have eaten all my crops, schools are about to open I have no fees for my children. I just sold my cow for Sh500 and I am now stuck up in a pile of debts as I had taken the seeds and fertilizer on credit,” said the devastated Mutuku.
Mutuku appealed for relief food pointing out that even if they are given seeds to plant, there are no rains for now and they still need to feed their families.
Margaret Musau, another farmer and a widow, also said all her crops have been eaten by the armyworms.
“I had planted maize, tomatoes, green papers, and beans on my three and a half acres of land but the army worms have destroyed all my crops. I have nothing yet I depend on those crops to feed and educate my children,” Margaret lamented.
She said she had to sell her cow for Sh500 since it had grown so thin and all the grass that it feeds on had dried up and the rest destroyed by the worms.
Margaret recalled that army worms invaded their farms in December and up to now they are still spreading to other farms.
She appealed to the government to intervene and help them with the insecticide that will be sprayed to kill all the army worms.
Musyimi Maeke, MCA Kalama ward said the armyworms invaded their farms during the weekend and are eating everything even the grass on the roadside.
He urges the National government through the Ministry of Agriculture to urgently help as the situation is getting worse and worms are spreading to other villages.
“We urge the Ministry of Agriculture to help as this is an emergency situation; the worms are eating everything and the rains being scarce we have nothing on the farms,” said the Kalama MCA Maeke.
He noted that Kimutwa, mbebani, mbukuni, and kivetis villages were most affected.
This comes days after the government through the state department of crops embarked on a national farmer registration exercise to facilitate farmers’ access to fertilizer via digital e-voucher system.
The exercise targets farmers participating in various crop productions and its main aim is to establish a national database of all farmers which includes identity, profile, location, crop acreage, and fertilizer requirement.
The information will assist the government in the provision of targeted interventions including subsidies and other farm inputs for improved productivity, profitability, and attaining food security in the country.
By Anne Kangero