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    Human-wildlife conflict has become a thorny issue especially now that farmers are opening up more forests for economic benefits.

    Threatened wild animals attack humans as they invade farms for livestock or crops for food because of the shrinking land resource.

    Farmers bordering conservancies, for example those in the counties of Nyeri, Meru, Kajiado, Taita-Taveta, among others have to use all means available to keep wildlife away.

    While poachers are using sophisticated weapons to kill big game for their various valuables items like tusks, farmers are poisoning the animals to keep them away from destroying crop.

    Poison transfer

    Tim Snow of Wildlife Poisoning Prevention and Conflict Resolution warns that the poison is more likely to be counter-productive besides having lasting negative effects to the ecosystem.

    Poisoning is indiscriminate. It can even pose a danger to human health and domesticated animals. Poison passes through the food chain and very often will kill many more animals than the farmer intended.

    Dogs for instance, would feed on the carcass of poisoned animals. Before death, it can drink water from the animal watering points. If they die at home, burying them moves the poison into the home environment.

    Poison contaminates water sources and other environmental components close and further away-most animals tend to die away from poisoning sources, with more others running to water sources.

    Non-chemical

    Elephants from the Tsavo National Park are the commonest food invaders in Taita-Taveta while monkeys destroy potatoes, fruits, maize in counties around Mount Kenya.

    Bees keeping errant elephants away from farms in Taita-Taveta

    At the same time, Snow says, killing smaller animals is causing more homestead invasions from the wild. He argues that killing antelopes for instance, after they destroy maize, would invite the lion, leopard, or cheetah to the farmer’s home in search of livestock.

    This is common with Maasai of Kajiado County, where lions from Nairobi National Park are a real menace.

    “Pastoralists experience conflict with predators like lions raiding bomas at night. If there is a healthy wildlife population the boma can be protected and there is enough prey for the carnivores,” Snow says.

    Secret lion dung saving livestock and crops

    Using more biological methods to keep off wildlife is the most viable method of ensuring sustainable coexistence.

    Lion dung

    Smaller animals are scared away from crop fields by smelling lion dung. The animals think the lion is within the region.

    Others like elephants, which do not fear the lion, can be kept off the farm by strapped beehives, which will shake while the beasts are trespassing. Elephants dread bees.

     

    Wildlife Poisoning Prevention and Conflict Resolution is a non-governmental organisation working in East and Southern Africa.

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    Nematodes and bacterial wilt are some of the deadliest infections affecting tomatoes, pepper, capsicum and other crops in the solanacea family.

    No amount of chemical fumigation can control these soil-borne diseases. Once they attack the crops, nothing can be done to save either the seedlings or the resources that have been spruced up.

    In addition to crops rotation, planting bags are helping farmers avoid such losses.

    Chris Mutune of Amiran Kenya says famers must, however, test their soils against the various infections and parasites before filling the plastic containers.

    “Farm hygiene is key in controlling the spread of many diseases, whether treatable or not. In the cases of soil-borne diseases-which do not have remedy, farmers must collect soils from where a crop affected by a particular infection has not been grown for a while,” he says.

    Knowing that solanacea family has not been grown in a particular place for years does not shield a farmer. Confirming that the soil is actually safe for use is the first step to successful use of bags, Mutune says.

    READ ALSO: Benefits of growing crops in bags

    Other crops in the solanacea family include, sweet and Irish potatoes, eggplant, among others.

    Amiran runs learning lessons for interested, who yearn to know how to do the tests on their own before packing soils into planting bags.

    The bags are available in most agrovets, with Amiran Kenya selling theirs at Sh25 each.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Mango farmers in Kenya who have been incurring huge losses due to fruit flies can now rest easy, thanks to new biological solution that attract and drown all female fruit flies, breaking the breeding cycle.

    The Cera Trap now being sold exclusively by Amiran Kenya Limited is a liquid hydrolyzed protein bait solution which contains amines and organic acids to attract fruit flies inside the trap. The fruit flies then drown in the trap with no means of getting outside the trap. Although Cera trap attracts both genders of fruit flies, it mostly target females hence breaking the breeding cycle.

    It is estimated that fruit flies can destroy 30-80 percent to of fruit yield depending on the fruit, variety, and location and fruit season. Fruit fly larvae fruit and vegetables to turn into a soft, mushy mess. Adult female fruit flies lay eggs in the flesh of ripening and ripe fruit and vegetable. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae begins to feed within the fruit, causing it to ripen prematurely, rot and drop to the ground.

    According to Amiran Kenya Limited’s Chief Agronomist, Cera Trap attracts a wide variety of fruit flies from Ceratitis species to Bactrocera species in different plantations including mangoes, citrus, cucurbits and avocadoes. The advantage of Cera Trap is that as much as it captures a wide variety of fruit flies, it respects beneficial fauna.

    Traps are placed in an orchard 40-60 days before commercial ripening. In order to effectively eliminate fruit flies, at least 20 traps are needed per acre and are supposed to be positioned at the  northern side of the plant; within the foliage or crop; 1.5 meters above the ground. At least 400ml of Cera solution is needed per trap and frequency of refilling depends on temperature, humidity, type of trap used and exposure to the sunlight.

    Cera trap solution is free of chemicals; insecticides and pesticides hence farmers don’t have to worry about spraying the plantation as everything happens in the trap, thus no residue is left on fruits.

    Amiran Kenya is selling a single trap at Sh450 while a litre of Cera solution goes for Sh740.

     

    For more information about this fruit flies trap, kindly contact Amiran Kenya on 0733600267 or 0719095253

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