Kenya, Uganda receive Sh100 million worth of pesticides to battle locusts - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 5 September 2020

Kenya, Uganda receive Sh100 million worth of pesticides to battle locusts

 Deputy Chief Executive Officer, KEPSA, Eng. Martha Cheruto, Bayer East Africa Limited Managing Director, Laurent Perrier, Industrialist and Entrepreneur, Dr. Chris Kirubi, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Hon. Linah Jebii Kilimo, BA, EGH and Elgon Kenya Director and Agrochemical Association of Kenya representative, Bimal Kantaria during the hand-over ceremony of Deltamethrin pesticide donation by Bayer East Africa to the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Agriculture.

Bayer East Africa has donated 170,000 litres of pesticides to the Kenyan and Ugandan governments to help in combating the desert locust.

Through a partnership with the Agriculture Sector Network and the Agrochemical Association of Kenya, Bayer donated Sh100 million worth of Deltamethrin.

Handing over the donations on Friday, Laurent Perrier, MD Bayer East Africa, said insecticide donation enables the treatment of 170,000 hectares of the most affected fields in East Africa.

The Kenyan government received 120,000 litres, while Uganda got 50,000 litres, as listed in the latest Pesticide Referee Group (PRG) report.

The entire donation is valued at approximately Sh100 million. Kenya received  Sh70 million and Uganda Sh30 million excluding freight.

Image: COURTESY

“More than 10 million people in the East Africa region are facing acute food shortage due to locust plagues that have ravaged massive fields of food crops. With the planting season fast approaching, the locust menace still looms large."

"Through this donation, we hope to support vulnerable smallholder farmers who are critical to food security, and are essential to our shared vision of a future where health for all, hunger for none is made possible,“ Perrier said.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, desert locusts present ‘an extremely alarming and unprecedented threat‘ to food security and livelihoods.

This risk coupled with the current Covid-19 pandemic and recent drought and floods in the region has brought additional pressure on food systems.

Earlier this year, the largest swarm that hit Kenya measured 2,400 square kilometers and was made up of 200 billion locusts.

The pests consumed nearly 400,000 tons of food every 24 hours which is equivalent to what 84 million people eat each day.

Desert locusts can travel up to 130 kilometers a day in their frantic race to feed and reproduce.

“The devastation means a serious food crisis which for a country like Kenya will mean bringing it to its knees because 34 percent of the country’s GDP comes from agriculture. This invasion is the worst of its kind in 70 years and is threatening the countries’ livelihood, economy, and food production,” Perrier added.

The pesticides were produced in France, in a Bayer industrial site based in Villefranche Limas that specializes in the formulation, packaging, and distribution of plant protection products for farmers. It was airlifted to East Africa by Kenya Airways.

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