Kenyan farmers fear drop in yields if chemical crop protection is banned

Farmers have expressed concern that the call to ban the use of certain chemical crop protection would worsen the already dwindling production. Evans Warui, a farmer from Ndekia in Mwea, Kirinyaga county, said emerging pests and diseases pose a major threat to crop production in the country. He said the immediate action to address this is through safe use of chemical crop protection.

Warui spoke during a fact-finding mission of chemical crop protection use on farms in Mwea last week. The tour was organized by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications- AfriCenter through the Africa Life Science Knowledge Hub.  

“If I fail to use chemical crop protection, I am afraid I will not harvest anything as the crops could be destroyed by pests or diseases. I have had to deal with diseases like tuta absoluta in tomatoes and other diseases related with the cold weather and wilting.

"Chemical crop protection comes in handy in fighting some of these diseases and pests despite the high cost of the chemicals,” Warui, who grows rice, tomato, and baby corn for export said. He added that the high cost of chemical crop protection and other farm inputs has made the cost of production high hence low profit for farmers.   

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