Farmers urged to embrace biological control method as a bid to fight plant pests

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As a way to curb the spread of fall armyworms that has extensively caused sleepless nights to farmers in Kenya, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in collaboration with a non-governmental organization dubbed Plant village Kenya has embarked on training farmers from counties in western Kenya on modern methods of eradicating its spread.

The biological control method that doesn't involve the use of chemicals, uses parasitoid from the lab, which are introduced to the eggs of the FAW to incomplete their life cycle.

"From our class four science, for a complete life cycle of a fall armyworm it has to undergo the egg-larva-pupa and then adult, the adult which is Fall Army worm moth lays eggs on maize. The egg hatches to larvae which are the destroyer's part of its life cycle", Said Loreen Atieno, a team member at Alupe parasitoid lab.

For more on how the parasitoid lab works follow this link

The method highly discourages the use of chemicals due to its effects of decreasing the soil's ph hence increasing soil acidity.

"We do not use chemicals anywhere from harvesting eggs to affecting the life cycle of fall armyworms", She added.

At least 150 farmers have been trained and equipped with modern technology on how to use this technology, which is being hosted in Busia, Western Kenya.

"We were able to supply to 11 counties with the parasitoids this season, in the coming season, we are aiming to supply to more than 20 counties", She added.

Busia, Bungoma and Kakamega are some of the Western counties in Kenya that have been greatly reported to be infected by the fall armyworms

by Dennis Avokoywa.

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