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University student speaks on his pesticide invention in Uasin Gishu

Elvanis Ronoh
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Moi University student Paul Kemei addressing the press in Eldoret town on Thursday. [Photo/Elvanis Ronoh].

Farmers will now put a smile on their faces after a student from Moi University in Eldoret Campus invented a pesticide meant to kill foul armyworms.

The worms have destroyed thousands of acres of maize farms in Uasin Gishu County.

Paul Kemei, a fourth-year student pursuing education majoring in Kiswahili and CRE invented a foul armyworm pesticide known as ‘defender’ which according to him can be used in different climatic conditions.

Kemei said he decided to pursue the invention after the worm-infested their farm and brought them a huge loss despite using different kinds of pesticides and that’s when he started the research.

“Thereafter, I went to the Internet and found out that the worms were not only affecting Kenyans but the whole world. So, I found it prudent to start the research,” Kemei said.

He spoke to this writer in Eldoret town on Thursday.

“After going to the laboratory, I came up with some elements which I cannot reveal due to security reasons and came up with the pesticides. My neighbor had the warm infestation and after spraying with the pesticides the worms were no more,” added the 27 years defender inventor.

Kemei, however, refused to reveal the elements he used to come up with the drug in fear for his ideas being stolen by other people.

The student said they are just things found locally which he can produce in large quantity to serve the whole country if supported financially.

“The pesticide does not have chemicals since it has been made using local elements that do not affect the plant and soil but only the worm," Kemei said.

Kemei, however, noted that while coming up with the pesticide, he faced challenges such as security of his workplace as he feared someone might attempt to steal his idea.

“There are also cartels where some people come in the name of buying pesticides yet their intention is to steal the idea,” he said.

The student now wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to fund his ideas saying it will not only benefit him but farmers from and outside the country.

“Most pesticides commonly used by farmers are mainly imported but now we have our own which has no side effects to either the plant or soil since it only targets the worm. With president's support, I will move forward to ensure that it is registered and farmers start using it officially,” Kemei said.

“I have written letters to President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, and Agricultures CS but have not gotten any assistance. They should show their interests in helping farmers through me since my aim is to help farmers and not for my own personal gains,” Kemei concluded.

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