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Cotton farmers in Rarieda decry heavy losses estimated at over 12 million occasioned by Monkey invasion.

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Cotton farmers in Rarieda decry heavy losses estimated at over 12 million occasioned by Monkey invasion.

Cotton farmers in Rarieda Sub County have decried heavy losses estimated at over shs. 12 million after monkeys destroyed approximately 500 acres of cotton plantation in the region.

According to Harrison Odhiambo an officer from the fibre crop directorate in-charge of cotton farming in the sub county, the monkeys have invaded the farms over the last 14 days leaving the farmers staring at huge losses.

“From each acre the directorate estimates that a farmer can earn approximately sh. 25,000 if the crops do well. Therefore we are looking at a loss of over shs 12 million for farmers in the region” said the officer.

Odhiambo said the monkeys have been feeding on cotton balls hence destroying the crops leaving efforts by the government to revive cotton farming in the region in jeopardy.

“The government has invested heavily in reviving cotton farming in the region by providing free hybrid seed of BT cotton to farmers which was expected to increase cotton production in the area by 30% but this is now under enormous threat.”Odhiambo stated.

He revealed that currently about six thousand acres of land in Rarieda sub county is under cotton hence the need for concerted efforts by stakeholders to end the monkey menace.

Odhiambo further disclosed that Rachar and Kokwiri sub locations in west Uyoma location are the worst hit by the monkey invasion calling on the local community together with local administrators to join hands and devise measures of keeping the wild animals away from the farms.

“Cotton is one of the cash crops identified by the government to spur economic growth in the country and therefore chiefs, the county commissioner and elected leaders should mobilize the local community to find a long lasting solution to the monkey menace” Odhiambo said.

Local farmers Jane Nyambuoro, Simon Okore and Fredrick Obange who farms were destroyed in Arongo village, Rachar Sub location have appealed to the government to come to their aid saying their cash crop which has been destroyed is their only source of livelihood.

Speaking to KNA on phone Siaya county Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) warder Mr .Joseph Nyongesa confirmed that they have already received complaints from farmers in Rarieda Sub County in connection to monkeys that have destroyed cotton plantation.

Nyongesa however disputed the number of acreage destroyed saying their own assessment shows that farms destroyed is less than 200 acres.

He revealed that farmers who crops have been destroyed by the monkeys will not be compensated since KWS had degazatted compensation of crop destruction by monkeys in January 2019.

The KWS warder advised the farmers not to harm the animals but instead inform his office to take appropriate action against the wild animals.

Ends…

IMG: Frustrated farmers from Rachar sub location in Rarieda Sub County inspecting one of the cotton farms destroyed by monkeys. The monkeys have invaded an estimated 500 acres plantation of cotton causing destruction of about shs.12 million

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