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African Armyworms ravaging crops in Olmoran, Laikipia County

African armyworms have invaded hundred acres of farms in Olmoran area, Kirima Sub County, threatening food security in the region amid worsening drought situation.

Speaking to the media on phone on Wednesday, Kirima deputy County Commissioner, John Orata said the worms affect maize crops and wheat, noting the situation could be attributed to climate change.

“The pests have caused a lot of damage. They mostly affect crops of the grass family. They have been attacking crops for a month now,” said Orata, noting that county agriculture officers are salvaging the affected farms by spraying pesticides.

Ezekiel Nyambane, a farmer, said his five acres of maize farm had been wiped out by the invasive pests.

“They (African army worms) are not eating beans. They attack parallel veins of both Napier grass and maize crops, leaving only the stem,’’ said Nyambane, adding that livestock keepers have too been severely affected.

He revealed, two days ago, the county government supplied voliam targo insecticide, however, not everyone benefited.

“We are surviving by our own means. When you give the insecticide to only a few people, the situation is not solved. I recommend Kazi kwa Vijana youth to be deployed here and help in controlling the worms,” said Nyambane.

Kefa Maina, another farmer from the area, said his three acres of maize farm was too wiped out by the African armyworms.

“These worms are very destructive. I had sprayed insecticides a while ago but they keep on invading after spraying. I’m now left with bare land with no crops,” said Maina.

By Muturi Mwangi

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