Kenya: Tomato growers use traps to tame pests chewing into leafage

Tomato farmers in Subukia have been confronting the menace of a pest that has mostly been chewing into the leafage of the crop. The resultant effect has been the possibility of a massive drop in the quality of the produce and obvious losses.

The pest, Tuta absoluta, which crept into the country around 2016, has previously been exclusively tackled by chemical pesticides. But now, a shift in this trend is being sought through an Integrated Pest Management approach that hugely incorporates biological control coupled with minimal chemical pesticide application.

Josiah Ngumi inherited from his parents a liking for farming and has been a farmer for about 10 years. Transforming his hobby into agribusiness, he has been growing tomatoes on a two-acre piece of land. In addition, he grows red cabbage, spinach, capsicum, and other vegetables.

“The major challenge for tomatoes has been Tuta absoluta,” he says. “This is a very destructive pest. It can wipe out all your harvest. But now we have found a solution to the problem.”


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