Spraying locusts in should not be an option in Baringo county. It is a threat to bee farming and honey production in the county.
This is according to the Chairperson of Baringo Beekeepers and Honey Producers Association. Mr Justine Chebii claims that the county is now struggling to with the shrinking bee population. Spraying the locusts with pesticides therefore will also harm the bees.
Mr Chebii is a major supplier of Baringo honey in Nairobi under the brand name Bogoria Honey. Honey from Baringo is among the most trusted in the market. Any threat to its production is a disservice to the farmers who are already reaping big from the opportunity.
Expert’s opinion on spraying locusts
Kericho County, Governor Prof. Paul Chepkwony advised the Ministry of Agriculture against locust spraying using conventional insecticides.
So it will wipe out a large population of locusts and other insects. Consequently leading to ecological imbalance thereafter. Professor Paul is a PhD holder of Organic Chemistry.
Governor Chepkwony said that the government may need to spray the vegetation with locust feeding deterrents (anti-feedant chemicals). The anti-feedant discourages the locusts from feeding on the vegetation and without killing the locusts. Eventually,locusts starve to death.
“We should avoid creating a major calamity by solving a Minor Problem,” he warned.
On Wednesday, the locusts were reported to have hit Kerio Valley belt where they were sprayed with pesticides by the ministry of Agriculture in partnership with the County Government of Elgeyo Marakwet.
On Saturday, they were reported to have invaded Salawa and parts or Kabarnet town and in the wake of Sunday morning, they were spotted in Tenges.
Honey remains to be Baringo’s ‘gold’ as a litre of it retails at a price which is about 10 times a litre petrol.