The county government of Kisumu has released a statement to dispel the growing anxiety among residents that the dreaded desert locusts could have made their way into the county.
Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o in the statement released on Wednesday evening made public the findings by a joint team of experts ruling out possible invasion by desert locust in parts of the county.
The teams from the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and Kenya Plant Health Expectorate (KEPHIS) made their revelation following a thorough assessment of the samples taken from the suspicious insects.
“Indeed there were grasshoppers in two sugar cane farms of about six acres. There was no exhibition of swarm characteristics of desert locust” said the report in conclusion
The teams in their assessment identified the grasshoppers to be of two species-pygomorph comprising 80 per cent and the other as variegated at 20 per cent of the samples taken.
The researchers have however assured residents that the insects having exhibited a density of only 6 insects per square metre does not meet the threshing of economic significance.
They further recommended that elimination would require identification of egg-sites prior to spraying with the pesticide known as Ranger 480C to clear.
Governor Nyong’o has following the finding scheduled spraying of the affected sites as from the weekend of February 22 intended to contain the maturity of eggs and curb multiplication of the insects.
The findings will now defray the mounting anxiety among local farmers who had started panicking over prospects of doom after news broke out on Sunday that a swarm of locust-like grasshoppers had been spotted in part of Muhoroni sub-county.
By Milton Onyango