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Maize disease wipes out entire harvest

A  fungus maize disease has caused jitters in some parts of Nakuru County, since the infested crop does not produce any grain and that leads to the total loss of the anticipated harvest.

The most affected areas are Lare and Kihingo ward in Njoro sub-county, where almost all the maize are plagued by the head and ears smut fungal disease.

However, the County Executive for Agriculture, Dr. Immaculate Maina, said they have sent officers to the ground to file a report, which will be forwarded to KEPHIS.

Maina  said the maize symptoms become evident when the maize tassels and cobs appear, adding that the maize smut disease has no cure and the farms which are affected were advised to destroy the affected crop.

However, Speaking to KNA on Friday during an interview, the county executive said the best way to prevent the smut diseases was to plant certified seeds and practice crop rotation after every three years.

For  the last five years, maize farmers in the county have contended with various diseases such as maize narcosis and the invasion of the dreaded army worm, which is still being detected in a number of farms.

Dr. Maina  attributed the increased maize diseases and pests to the drastic weather change worldwide, warning farmers to brace for more mishaps.

A  farmer from Lare, Samuel Mwangi  said the smut disease has affected his entire two acres maize and he doesn’t see any hope of harvesting even a single grain.

By  Veronica  Bosibori

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