Maize and coffee farmers in Mukurweini Sub-county, Nyeri County are at the verge of hunger following invasion by troops of monkeys on their farms and destroyed their crops.
The farmers from Kihuti and Mihuti villages and their environs now say that if no action is taken to control the menace, they will be forced to halt their farming activities as a way of averting continuous losses caused by the primates.
One of the victims, Mercy Wangari says that despite putting in many hours on their farms with the hope of a bumper harvest, for the last four years they have nothing to smile about since all their efforts are negated by the monkeys.
“Most of us depend entirely on the farm produce to cater for our daily needs. We work so hard to produce something to sell in the markets and store some in our homes for daily consumption but all these efforts are watered down by these monkeys when they attack. From the destruction I have witnessed, I will be forced to sell my maize as fodder before they mature because I can’t wait to incur more losses,” Wangari said.
Another victim, Joseph Mwangi, who mainly grows maize and bananas, says that the monkeys have become a big threat and aggressive towards humans. While showing sections of the destroyed banana plantation in his compound, Mwangi says that nothing scares the monkeys away when they decide to invade the crops.
“The monkeys have lost their sense of fear; they no longer scamper even after being shooed away. They are very daring; they even destroy crops which are near households with no fear. At this rate, we will have nothing to harvest from our shambas,” Mwangi said.
The farmers are now calling on the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to come to their rescue or else the families will starve.
By Ann Ngure