The Kenyan Peasants League (KPL) is currently testing the efficacy of two different organic pesticides in three clusters in Migori and Baringo County. The tests that are being supported by Evan Cornish Foundation and implemented in partnership with War on Want (WoW) is part of the “Transition to Agroecology for Food Sovereignty and Climate Justice project” that also has components of advocacy against importation of banned chemical pesticides from UK like paraquat occasioned by the recently signed UK-Kenya Free Trade Area agreement.
The one year project is being implemented in Mariwa and Mulo clusters in Migori County and Kabarnet Cluster in Baringo County. Already the tests have started in Migori County with the two formulations having been tested in Mariwa and Mulo Clusters. One of the formulations was developed in University of Graz in Austria by Prof Manfred and has already undergone controlled tests in Austrian environment while the other formulation was developed by Mr Okwera Oluoch of Mulo Cluster.
According to Dick Olela, the National Convener of KPL who is also heading the project, the two formulations have already been tested on aphids attacking vegetables with a lot of success. “We sprayed the leaves of kales that have been infested by aphids and after one week the aphids were already cleared and the leaves turned green and healthy”. Mr Dick added that currently, the formulations are being tested on Fall Army Warm that attacks maize and and other plants. Dick expressed optimism that the test shall be successful.
Recently, KPL won the Lushspring Prize award category of Young Projects based on the project and according to Cidi Otieno who is directing the project in terms of policy, the award that comes with USD20,000 will help build capacity of KPL in terms of farm based research and the award money shall be used to support such initiatives within KPL including composting, Seed Banking and Development of Peasant Agroecology School modules in a participatory manner.