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Pests, heavy rains affecting project mango crops in Siaya

Kitui County commissions Ksh.20 million fruit processing plant

Farmers growing improved mangoes under the Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme Phase Two (ASDSP II) in Siaya County, have reported adverse effects of rain and pests.

The farmers said the crops’ growth has been hampered by the unexpected heavy rains and pests, despite spraying with pesticides as required.

Mr. Albert Omollo, the farmers’ coordinator, told KNA they fear if the situation were not controlled, yields could be cut by half.

The farmers’ trainer on mango production, Mr. George Agunda, of Rural Livelihood Development Consortium (RULIDEC), said the changing climatic conditions have lowered the targeted mango yields in the last two seasons.

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The County Director of Agriculture, Mr. Vincent Okoth, advised the farmers to alleviate the effects of heavy rains by improving on their farm’s drainage.

On pests’ control, the Director advised the farmers to minimize spraying, but instead use pheromone traps, which studies have shown to be more effective, besides being environmentally safe.

The programme promotes the growing of mangoes as a cash crop, of which the farmers should earn better after adding value to the produce. It is funded by Swedish International Development Agency(SIDA) and European Union(EU).

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