Africa, Pests and Diseases

More woes for Kenian farmers as potato crop attacked by blight disease

Potato farmers in the North Rift in Kenya are staring at heavy losses following the ongoing heavy rains. The crops had been attacked by blight, which has been made worse by the rains.

Newly germinated crops in parts of Kuresoi, Njoro and Molo sub-counties have potato blight, which spreads faster during the rainy season.

Peter Muga from Kanjo area in Mau Narok is among farmers counting losses after the crop was attacked by the fungal disease. “Cold weather has affected the crop after germination,” said Muga, who has a 10-acre potato farm.

He is using chemicals he bought to contain the disease. He is worried because potato farming is his main economic activity. He sprays the crop weekly at a cost of between Sh1,500 and Sh2,000.

Chief Officer of Agriculture in the area Joel Kibet admitted that the rains are wreaking havoc to the crops. However, he said agricultural officers will assess the magnitude of destruction and take appropriate action.

“I can’t state acreages destroyed by water. Because of the ongoing rains, farmers may be forced to replant the crops to avoid total loss,” he said.

Source: Standard Digital

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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