Expert roots for change in locusts fight

Monday, December 14th, 2020 00:00 |
Most of the governments in the region say they have prepared themselves for the second wave of locust swarms. PD/FILE

As the country faces the second wave of locust invasion, it has emerged that the use of pesticides is turning out to be ineffective.

Already parts of Taita Taveta county have recorded cases of the pest with farmers counting losses running into millions of shillings.

The disclosure came during the ongoing National Research Fund (NRF) retreat in Naivasha, which has brought in scientists from different universities and organisations.

Principal Secretary  for University Education and Research Samson Nabukwesi, said it is becoming hard to control the locusts that are spreading at an alarming rate.

New methods

While challenging scientists to seek new methods of controlling the locusts, Nabukwesi admitted that the current use of pesticides was not effective.

“We should engage our scientists to seek new biological methods of controlling the pests which are reproducing very fast,” he said.

On research, he admitted that funding was a major challenge, mainly in the universities after the government slashed funding to the institutions.

“Currently the NRF is working on a strategy on resource mobilisation and our universities are doing a lot in terms of research,” he said.

On her part, the NRF Chief Executive Officer  Jemima Onsare admitted that funding and personnel was a challenge to the newly formed organisation.She however said they had embarked on the process of mobilising funds for various ongoing projects.

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