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Maize farmer counting losses due to viral disease

Farmers in the South Rift region are lamenting losses they have incurred from a viral disease which has invaded their maize farms.

According to Mr Elkana Rotich who is a farmer from Kapletundo, in Sotik Sub County, farmers have suffered great loss as a result of the virus resulting in low yields.

The farmer also informed KNA in Bomet that the virus, Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND) has been terrorizing farmers within the region for a long period now. “With this type of farming, I only make losses,” Rotich lamented.

He added, “This disease started around seven years ago; since then we have never had a reason to smile when harvest time approaches. Before then I used to harvest up to 20 bags of maize in every acre of land,” Mr Rotich said.

The disease which affects the crop turning them yellow, it also makes crops wither drying up before maturity period.

According to Mr Rotich it’s high time now the public was sensitized about the disease through the press, posters, brochures, sensitization workshops and local radio programs about the adverse effects of this disease.

“Information on the disease could be passed on to the public during field days and Bazaras as well as in churches. Awareness of the disease will help farmers to take it upon themselves to avoid the movement of diseased plant material from one area to another by destroying affected crops, rouging and practising general field hygiene to avoid the recurring effects of the same annually,” explained Rotich.

Consistent recurring losses farmers are incurring from the crop has resulted in a double rise of the product within the region and food security instability increasing the cost of living.

By Lamech Arisa and Julie Chepkirui

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