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New pesticide to eradicate invasive snails

The Golden Apple Snail, which has been destroying rice in Mwea, has caused significant losses to farmers.

Early this year, the government piloted a pesticide from the Ministry of Agriculture through the Pest Control Products Board (PCBP) called Biograde 300 SL on selected farms.

Kirinyaga County Governor Ann Waiguru has said the county, in collaboration with the national government, is working around the clock to get another pesticide that can eliminate the new migratory rice pest.

Speaking during Jamhuri Day celebrations, the governor said a pesticide used in the pilot programme meant to control the spread of the snail had not been effective.

The governor asked farmers to be more patient as researchers look for another pesticide that can eliminate the invasive snail.

“This pilot programme was not very successful, and therefore we have gone back to the drawing board, and in collaboration with the National Government, our researchers are working around the clock to get a cure for the snails,” she said.

The snails mainly damage direct wet-seeded rice and transplanted rice up to 30 days old.

Farmers are now applying preventive methods like controlling the flow of water into paddy during the early stages of transplanting because snails rely on water to thrive.

By Mutai Kipngetich

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