Parliament to factor Sh.5 billion for farmers affected by hungry locusts

A young boy walks past a hungry swarm of desert locusts in Samburu county.Parliament has said it will factor sh 5 billion for farmers affected by hungry desert locusts PHOTO COURTESY

The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture has said that it will factor sh. 5 billion to have farmers affected by the locust menace across the country compensated.

In a media briefing at parliamentary buildings, Agriculture chair Aden Mohamed said that the money will be factored in the 2020/2021 budget.

“Parliament through this committee will Factor in sh. 5 billion  for compensation to farmers who were affected by locusts, in terms of crops, fodder, as a committee we will work for  compensation, and  factor in for the 2020/2021 budget,” Mohammed said

He accused the ministry of being slow in responding to the menace despite international organization and the committee itself warning the ministry severally that the upcoming swarm of locust was to be detrimental to agriculture sector.

Mohammed urged the ministry of agriculture to Fast Track chemicals used in fighting  locusts insisting that the current chemicals used in containing the menace is not effective.

“We appeal to the government to move with speed because some chemicals used are reacting slowing up to three days,”Mohammed said

 Other members of the committee including Busia women Rep Florence Mutua urged the ministry of agriculture to enhance training to extension officers in counties and sub-counties in order to avert incompetence during the exercise.

They also urged the government to enhance the fight against locusts by deploying the military as a strategy of containing the crisis.

By Wednesday this week, the swarm of locusts crossed over to Nyeri, Kirinyaga and Kisumu counties bringing to total 18 the number of counties affected.

Other counties affected by the swarms include Tana River,Muranga,Garissa,Wajir,Mandera,Isiolo,Laikipia,Narok,Baringo,Meru,Embu,Tharaka Nithi,Turkana,Kajiado and Samburu.