MARACHA. Residents in Maracha district who embraced the planting of improved mango seedlings supplied under various government programs have started destroying them over lack of yields.
The farmers say they have lost hope in the breed which was much hyped by its promoters yet they have not benefited from the mangoes as was promised over the years.
Their high expectation to reap big from the improved mango varieties became a dream mainly due to rotting of fruits and some of the varieties failing to produce fruits at all.
Mr. Mathias Okulega a farmer from Apadri village in Oluffe sub-county first reacted by destroying his Mango forest claiming they have failed to meet his expectations.
“I am disappointed because I used a lot of money to plant these mangoes but I can’t wait any longer now, the only option is cutting them down and replacing them with apple mango varieties hardly destroyed by fruit flies in his farm”, Okulega lamented.
A traditional farmer in Ndalikua village, Oleba sub-county Mr. Ponzio Asumia explained that his production has been much affected by rotting of mango fruits which he struggles to control.
Asumia said though regional agricultural research centre (ABIZARDI) intervened in his farm to offer advisory services on how to control the vectors through spraying and laying traps, he is overwhelmed to rid out their impact on the ripening fruits.
But Mr. Lawrence Alisiku, a specialist in grafting mangoes explained that female flies lay eggs on flowers and fruits. Then the eggs hatch into larvae that feed on the pulp of the fruit and then the larvae emit the bacteria that cause rotting of fruits.
Alisiku noted that the farmers must adopt the Kenyan model in which every farmer is involved than leaving few farmers as is the case in the district now to control the fruit flies.
He advised the farmers to monitor and harvest their mature mango fruits to give no room for the fruit flies to lay eggs since the infested fruits spoil quickly and often fall to the ground prior to ripening.