Nairobi firm to fight maize disease in South Rift
A Nairobi-based private company has devised a method to check the spread of a maize disease that has destroyed thousands of acres of the crops in South Rift. Hyaquip Inc Kenya, which manufactures organic liquid fertilizer using water hyacinth, has move to woo farmers to embrace organic farming using their product. The firm’s technical director Simion Mwaura said their test on the disease shows that it was due to genetically modified seeds sold to farmers in the region. Mwaura said the seeds were genetically modified by the manufacturers either during drying or packaging of the seed through addition of excessive mutants that drained sulphur from the seeds. The director said their findings also revealed that the disease was caused by sulphur deficiency in the soil due to prolong use of acidic farm inputs by locals and the GMO seeds sold to the farmers. ''Lack of sulphur in seeds leaves plants growth stunted and turning yellow as they progress,'' said Mwaura.
Speaking at the weekend during a tour of more than 12 acres of maize fields free of the disease in Chepalungu planted using the Hyaquip fertiliser, Mwaura said the only way out of the situation is to engage in organic farming using Hyax liquid fertiliser manufactured using water hyacinth. He said the fertiliser is rich in among other things nitrogen, phosphorous and sulphur, which stimulate growth and increase crops yields. “With the liquid organic fertiliser farmers will be guaranteed high yield and disease free crops because the fertiliser has medicinal content,” said Mr Mwaura during the tour.