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Survey finds potato cyst infestation reaching 80% in some areas of Kenya

Infestation of potatoes by the Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN), a deadly pest that was discovered in Kenya two years ago, has reached alarming levels.

A survey done in 20 counties, through support from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), whose results were released two weeks ago, shows that PCN infestation has reached 80 per cent to 100 per cent in some of the potato growing areas.

The study shows that the future of potato production is bleak unless the government takes emergency measures to stem the rapid spread of the devastating pest.

This include a ban on potato production and transport to other growing regions, and even other countries, to stop the spread. The pest can remain in the soil for up to 30 years.

Infested potatoes usually show early maturity, produce tiny tubers and are usually stunted. Up to now, there is no known chemical or biological agent that can control the pest.

source: nation.co.ke

Publication date: 6/19/2017


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