Global Agriculture

Bayer stands by Kenya and Uganda in fight against desert locust devastation

06 August 2020, Germany: Farmers in Kenya and Uganda currently fighting a devastating locust invasion and looming food security crisis are receiving help from Bayer thanks to a donation of 170,000 liters of Decis ULV insecticide. 120,000 liters will be shipped to Kenya and 50,000 liters have already been shipped to Uganda. In both countries, the product will be donated to the local governments to fight the locust swarms.

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The donation from Bayer, which has a material value of approximately 750,000 Euros, will enable treatment of 170,000 hectares of the most affected fields.

Considered the worst crop pests in the world, locusts ravage everything in their path. According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), East Africa fields have fallen victim to the worst locust invasion in 25 years. Earlier this year, the FAO issued a call for insecticides, including Deltamethrin, the active ingredient in Decis ULV which is the only one effective in combating the desert locust.

Bayer’s insecticide donation from its Crop Science division will support the fight against these harmful migratory pests which are currently threatening food security in the region. 

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“I am 48 years old and yet I have not seen what I saw when the locust invaded my farm. They came together in countless numbers. You can see them clearly, some are yellow and others are green. When they are flying above an area, it will take more than two hours for all of them to pass. They literally join together and form a dark moving cloud,” said Pius Nyagah Muchenge, a Kenyan farmer, who grows cowpeas and green grams on his four hectares of land. “One of the greatest challenges we experienced is that our traditional methods of fighting such insects were not effective. We tried making noise in the villages including beating iron sheets to irritate the locusts, but this did not do much. We were later supported by the local authority who sprayed the locusts and some died instantly.”

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The Bayer donation addresses an urgent need to act as farmers prepare for the arrival of new swarms. Recent heavy rains are expected to cause a further proliferation of locusts in East Africa that could prove to be even more destructive and spread to other African regions. 

“Uganda has had four major invasions and continues to receive more invasions which we work tirelessly to eliminate. We therefore thank Bayer for the donation,” said Hon. Vincent Ssempija, Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries. “This will enable us to control the pests entering Uganda through the East, invading mainly 25 districts.”