Govt eliminates quelea birds to save Mwea rice crop

The national government in collaboration with Kirinyaga County has carried out an aerial spraying exercise to kill millions of quelea birds that have descended on their rice crop in Mwea Irrigation Scheme.

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The birds which appear on robust rice fields consume a huge amount of grains a day causing havoc annually in the expansive rice irrigation scheme.

Kirinyaga Deputy Governor Peter Ndambiri said eight million birds are reported to have invaded the area this season.

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Speaking to the press after overseeing the spraying exercise, Ndambiri said farmers had spent huge amounts of money to hire people to scare away the birds which travel in swarms of over three thousand at ago.

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Ndambiri said the county government is working with growers to control the menace which is a major threat to food security in the county.

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The spraying will continue for the next three days to ensure the birds are eliminated from the scheme.

The deputy governor also appealed to the government to ban importation of rice during harvesting noting that prices had dropped due to flooding of imported rice.

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“Let government buy our rice to feed our soldiers and those training as police officers, they should stop importing rice to feed our security forces,” he said.

Farmers who thanked the government for taking up the initiative to eliminate the birds revealed that they had incurred heavy losses since the birds invasion a month ago.



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