Quelea birds swarm rice scheme

Patrick Wamugunda, is among farmers who have come up with innovative ways to scare away the birds wrecking havoc in their rice paddies in Mwea. The farmers are worried that the ravenous birds, which are in their thousands, may end up destroying their entire crop if measures are not taken to curb them. PHOTO | CAROLINE WAMBUI | NMG

What you need to know:

  • The bird that normally appears on robust wheat, rice and sorghum plantations can consume an average of 10g of grain a day.
  • Farmers have been using rudimentary technologies to curb the birds, which include mounting scare crows in the fields. Others turned to catapults and slings.
  • Farmers have been worried that the ravenous birds, which are in their thousands, may end up destroying their entire crop if measures are not taken to curb them.
  • David Mwangi, the head of plant protection services in the State Department for Crop Development in the Ministry of Agriculture, says that a team is in the field to map and identify where the birds roost.

Rice farmers in Mwea, Kirinyaga County, are counting losses after thousands of quelea birds descended on their crop.

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