Weed machine for Victoria Basin

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By Manuel Odeny

More than 300,000 farmers at the Lake Victoria basin will benefit from a new machine to control the Striga weed. The machine, Ua Kayongo H1, laces the maize seed with a herbicide called strigaway that controls the deadly weed. The machine was handed over to the Kenya Seed Company after a research a joint research by Integrated Striga Management in Africa, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre, BASF and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation.

This will go along way in making the farmers benefit as the weed which affects cereal crops has a lot of seed which makes it hard to control. According to a report from the AATF website, the weed is affecting 200,000 hectares in the region to cause a loss of Sh800 million to farmers annually. "The seed is already available to farmers via Longtrech Kenya, Kenya Seed and Western Kenya companies as we recommend the farmers to use it to maximize profit" the report says.

Speaking at Elgon Downs farm while receiving the equipment, KSC managing director, Willy Bett assured farmers that the seed is sold competitively. "Since it is laced with the herbicide, fungicide and other chemicals the seed should cannot be eaten as it can cause death and we caution the farmers to always wash their hands after handling it and keep it away from children," Bett said.

View article on the Star - Kenya

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