Nandi County government has dispelled a possibility of army worm invasion in the County as previously reported in a section of the media .Responding to the report CEC in charge of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Mrs Mary Ng’elechei said that the claims were not true and that the pests invasion witnessed in some parts of Chesumei Sub county had preference for black wattle trees scientifically known as acacia mearnsi only, contrary to earlier reports of the pests attacking crops.
Three weeks ago some the of farmers in Ngechek, Kibwareng and Kapkeben alluded fears over the invasion of the pests on their crops after the pests were found to have defoliated some trees.
A survey by experts from the department revealed that at least ten acres of trees had been affected by the pests, revealed Ng’elechei, adding that the County government were on high alert to counter the pests and asked the residents to be patient awaiting the outcome of the tests.
Ng’elechei said that the new pest is yet to be identified and samples have been taken to (Kenya Forest Research Institute) KFRI and Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to ascertain it,
sentiments echoed by her counterpart CEC in charge of Lands,
Environment and Natural resources Dr John Chumo, who confirmed that professional team from the two institution of research were on ground collecting samples,’’ As we are talking KFRI under the leadership of Dr Paul Onguko are working to see that something is done’’ added Chumo.
According to Dr Chumo the pests have also have been attacking croton megalocarpus trees as witnessed in South Nandi forest, Kakamega and Kabwareng.Chumo exduded confidence that the pests were at minimal stage and posed no major threat, adding that pests were expected to perish with time given the heavy rainfalls currently being experienced , which are not conducive for their breeding and survival.