NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 10 – The government has committed Sh300 million to fight the spread of army worms, which have been detected in Nyeri, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma and Uasin Gishu counties.
The funds will go towards the management of the pest which if not controlled, can cause a 100 per cent loss of crops.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, a multi-institutional technical team has been constituted to deal with the infestation by the pest.
“The government has selected a technical team, from the public and private sector, to guide efforts of managing the deadly pest,” Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri said, on behalf of the Agriculture Ministry.
Army worms were first detected in Kenya in March this year.
Farmers around the country are reporting that they are now on the verge of facing hunger if the worms are not controlled.
The deadly fall army worm occurs in large numbers and its caterpillars cause severe damage to more than 80 plant species especially cereal crops such as maize, rice.
A migratory pest native to North and South America, armyworms have ravaged crops in 20 African countries. According to estimates by the Financial Times, the pest will cause a Sh310 billion damage to maize in the next 12 months and serious food shortages.