Occurrence of fall army warms has been confirmed in Kenya by KARLO, KEPHIS, CABI, PCB, ICIPE and plant protection services. This is according to Dr. Johnson Irungu, the director crop resources, agribusiness and marketing development. (See video below)
According to a field survey in March 2017 among other reports, the invasion of this pest is on off season maize in the following counties: Trans Zoia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Uasingishu, Nandi, Kerich, Baringo, Nakuru and Busia. The pest appears to be spreading rapidly and has potential to cause 100% loss in a wide range of crops such as maize, cotton, rice, sorghum, millet, cotton and some vegetable crops. This as according to the director.
If the rapid spread of the pest is not contained, there is a serious risk of total crop failure for this season and the cumulative effect will be severe hunger. Farmers are requested to remain vigilant and scout their fields regularly and report any cases of the pest in their area. Also read ; All to know about Tuta absoluta
Currently, there are no licensed pesticides in Kenya to our knowledge but “Belt” from Bayer company is licensed in South Africa to be used as a pesticide for the pest. The pest is however resistant to 90% of insecticides in the African markets.
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Read more about army worms from our agronomist here