Sunday, September 24, 2017
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Efforts to counter army worms heightened

armywormThe Council of Governors (COG) in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and other humanitarian agencies have partnered to develop a work plan and roadmap for carrying out research and national survey on the outbreak of army worms.
Army worm invasion in Kenya had been declared a national disaster. The most affected Counties included Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, parts of Bungoma County and Trans Nzoia. Governor Patrick Khaemba and Kakamega Deputy Governor Philip Kutima had in the past said that the pest had invaded huge tracts of land under maize and would lead to huge losses.
In a meeting held on 24th April at Kilimo House, the team adopted an effective way to counter the outbreak of armyworms that have so far spread to 13 counties with the maize growing areas rated as highly susceptible to the spread of the pest.
Experts from the MoA informed the Council of Governors and stakeholders present that there was need to come up with a regional cross border and Inter-County measures to counter the spread of the pest.
A field survey carried out in February 2017 to map out the most risky areas affected by the army worms, confirmed that the most prevalent species of the pest in the country include the African armyworms (which has largely affected the coastal region) and the Fall army worms (Western region). The multi institutional team also reported on the progress made to counter the outbreak.
Among the measures that COG proposed to stakeholders in countering the spread of armyworms includes; having a multi institutional technical team and developing a budget for strategic interventions against fall of army worms spread in Counties. The technical team was tasked with the responsibility of developing a concept note for lobbying for resources among other interventions.
The Ministry of Agriculture will hold trainings for farmers on surveillance and community forecasting in order to apply control measures at an early level and help to ge nerate information through researches.
A budget of Ksh 600 Million that will be jointly funded by donors and the Government of Kenya was unanimously proposed.The Ministry will incorporate a representative from CoG in the multi institutional technical committee to ensure representation of the counties at the inception stages.a

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