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Crop Biotech Update

WEMA Gives Hope for Farmers Battling Armyworm in Kenya

February 28, 2018

Kenyan farmers are feeling miserable about the infestation of fall armyworm in their maize fields. The attack started as a simple, seemingly manageable situation, but has grown to greater magnitudes requiring more attention and strategies to solve. The fall armyworm outbreak, which has affected the major maize growing regions in the country is projected to diminish the crop's production by up to 5 percent.

According to Dr. Murenga Mwimali, a scientist at Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) Katumani Station, they have developed maize that can control the attacks and resistant to drought. The hybrid maize varieties dubbed as DroughtTEGO™ were developed through the Water Efficient Maize for Africa program.

"We have resistant maize variety seeds at our Kiboko, Kitale and Katumani centers, which are robust and resilient and can be effective in controlling the fall armyworms and also thrive in the dry conditions," said Dr. Mwimali. He also stressed that with the problem at hand, new thinking and embracing innovative ideas are necessary. He also called upon the government to facilitate uptake of novel effective technological innovations, especially in the seed sector to alleviate the effects of drought and fall pests.

Read the original article from Daily Nation.