Kilifi County Government has begun a major spraying operation to contain locust invasion.
This is after officials found out that the locusts that invaded the county last year had hatched a deadly new breed of insects that could cause major damage as they are said to be feeding a lot.
The county government in conjunction with the national government ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, the leading agent in the desert locust control the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) put in place measures towards the control of the pest.
They procured 3000 litres of Pentagon and 800 litres of Deltametrin EC which are in the Malindi Agriculture office store to help control the pest in any of our seven sub-counties when the need arises.
A team of 50 National Youth Service officers have been dispatched to spray the affected areas to completely wipe out the insects and shall be working hand in hand with county government officials and National drought management authority officers.
So far 30 scouts have been trained on behaviour and biology of the pest and to carry out surveillance on the presence of the pest for effective control measures to be instituted.
Authorities said the second run of training for the same trained scouts will be on control of the pest so that we are able to contain their effects at any given time
Agriculture and Livestock Chief Officer Fredric Kaingu who was the chief guest together with area MCA Albert Kiraga said the insects could cause serious damage in the next 60 days that’s why they have embarked on the operation to
Speaking during the official launch of the exercise in Gongoni he said the locusts were first reported in the county on December 3 and immediately a team of officers from the county headquarters department of Agriculture Livestock and fisheries were dispatched for fact-finding in Magarini.
” The team reported that the locusts were not harmful since they were in the hatching stage which led the authorities to strategize and begin plans to spray the hatched insects which are said to be very harmful,” he said.
He said the locusts spread so fast from Magarini to Langobaya in Malindi then went to Ganze, Kilifi south, and Kilifi North.
”All seven sub-county were affected in a span of three days after the county was invaded by the locusts because they are highly migratory because they fly so fast, high and move to many areas,” he said.
He thanked the county and National government for launching the spraying exercise to ensure they do not cause loss to farmers’ crops.