Losses as maize farms are sprayed with chemical
Residents of Kiong’anyo sub location in Kisii County are counting losses after several hectares of maize crop were destroyed after use of an unknown chemical.
Eye witnesses said unknown people descended on the farms with spray pumps and fled after an alarm was raised during the wee hours of Monday morning.
Residents who confiscated and took the pumps to the local police post said they were still in shock over the incidence terming the suspects malicious persons.
This comes as the country is still reeling from a serious maize shortage prompting importation to mitigate starvation.
One farmer, Stephen Onsare said he was shocked to be informed that his over two hectares crop had been damaged by the chemicals.
Onsare said those affected had alerted the area agricultural officers who came, inspected the farms and quantified the losses. He called for the arrest of the suspects so that the due course of justice can follow.
He said they were counting losses in terms of purchase of certified seed, fertilizers and labour, and petitioned the authorities to intervene.
Grace Nyaega another victim said high yields were anticipated before the sadists cut short their hopes and reduced the crop to yellow stalks.
A witness, Dismus Mabeya condemned the act terming it economic sabotage for the affected farmers.
Area Chief, Justus Nyabuto Omari confirmed the report, saying that the incident is connected to a family feud where a relative had objected to the farming of the said land and it is suspected the said relative could have organised for the destruction of the crop.
Omari however, denounced allegations that the whole crop was destroyed, saying it was estimated to be half of the affected area.
He said the suspects evaded the residents trap by running away before they were cornered, but the containers used to spray the chemical suspected to be ‘roundup’ were taken to the police post.
This comes even after the country is yet to recover from a spell of food shortage which has been experienced during the last two seasons.
By Jane Naitore