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February 22, 2018

Armyworm leaves Murang’a farmers scared of planting as rains approach

Maragua subcounty agricultural officer John Waihenya in a farm attacked by the armyworm /ALICE WAITHERA
Maragua subcounty agricultural officer John Waihenya in a farm attacked by the armyworm /ALICE WAITHERA

Farmers from Murang’a county are scared of planting as the short rains draw near, lest armyworm attack their crops again.

The worm invaded farms in Maragua, Gatanga, Kigumo and Kangema constituencies earlier in the year.

Nelson Githinji from Maragua said pesticides are ineffective in killing the worm. “This worm got to my farm last season and affected my harvest. Now I’m not sure whether to plant again because I know it will attack my farm again,” he said.

Githinji said the worm no longer attacks only maize, but other crops as well.

Maragua agricultural officer John Waihenya has, however, asked farmers to use the right spraying methods for the chemicals to be effective.

He said the worm lives in holes that it drills inside maize stalks, where the pesticide cannot reach it.

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