Kaplimo Forest in Kapsoya Ward Ainabkoi Sub-County has become a concerning site for agricultural experts as it faces destruction from a dangerous smeared dagger moth caterpillar infestation.
In a bid to tackle the issue and prevent further destruction, Agriculture Chief Officer Mr. Elphas Kesio, accompanied by Director of Agriculture Reuben Seroney, led a team from the Department of Agriculture on Sunday to visit the affected forest.
The visit aimed to assess the current state of the forest and find effective solutions to curb the spread of the smeared dagger moth caterpillar infestation.
The destructive caterpillar had already managed to destroy approximately 200 acres of trees within the forest, posing a significant threat to the ecosystem.
The team suspects that the caterpillars responsible for the destruction are the larvae of the smeared dagger moth (Acronicta SPP).
The caterpillar species is known for its stinging behaviour, therefore an urgency to address the issue promptly.
Mr. Kesio also assured residents that the caterpillar infestation is not a threat to food security as it exclusively targets wattle trees within the forest.
This concentrated attack poses a significant concern for the ecosystem and the surrounding communities, as wattle trees play a vital role in various agricultural and economic activities.
Agricultural suppliers and crop protection specialists from Kenagro Mr. Daniel Lagat who is an expert with vast experience in crop protection were also present to provide invaluable and effective strategies to combat the caterpillar infestation.
Mr. Kesio assured the farmers that their concerns are being addressed, emphasizing the County’s commitment to providing a solution to the issue promptly and effectively.
The Department of Agriculture leadership will continue to work closely with other relevant stakeholders to develop a comprehensive action plan for the Kaplimo forest.
The collective efforts aim to limit the damage caused by the caterpillars and prevent further spread to other areas.
Ainabkoi Sub-County Agricultural Officer Scolastica Adhiambo was also present during the visit.