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Millipedes terrorise farmers

03 April 2013, 15:35 James Kabotia

Farmers in Laikipia are decrying foul over increased number of millipedes which have been wrecking havoc in their farms.

The pests which have invaded myriads of farms in Laikipia East and Laikipia Central Districts have been feeding on all types of crops during germination.

Speaking to the media in her office on Wednesday, Laikipia County Director of Agriculture Anne Kimaita said that the Ministry of Agriculture is aware of the menace caused by the millipedes, saying that they are conducting a research.

However, Kimaita said that some farmers use blood, sugar and pesticide concentrations to wipe away the pests from their crops.

“As a ministry, we don’t know the exact concentration they mix, but they usually spray their crops in the evenings. When they visit their farms in the morning, they find the millipedes dead and wipe them away,” Kimaita explained.

The director also said that the millipedes have always been adding value to the soil, adding that they have not been eating the crops.

“We think the reason as to why these pests have started feeding on the crops is because of climate change,” added  Kimaita.

She said that a researcher has already visited the farms around the region so as to establish a solution.

Kimaita further said that the farmers are demanding for the subsidised fertilizers which have not yet arrived the county.

“Currently, the fertilizers from the retail shops go for about KES 3 600 to KES 4 000 and some of the farmers are even planting without fertilizers," she added.

Kimaita urged all farmers in Laikipia to make use of the current downpours to prepare their farms by applying other cheap and available fertilizers as they wait for the subsidised ones from the Government.

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