The Coffee Research Foundation has put local farmers in East Africa on high alert over an outbreak of thrips, a tiny insect that attacks the cash crop.
Yesterday, the group told growers to spray their crops with insecticide should they notice thrips, which can destroy the beans and, occasionally, kill trees, according to a report from Kenya’s Daily Nation.
“Coffee farmers are advised to perform regular pest surveys on their farms to monitor the thrips population and take appropriate measures. With the effects of global warming, we need to be more alert since these problems are likely to be more frequent,” said Coffee Research Foundation director, Mr Joseph Kimemia.
Symptoms of thrips infestations include irregular grey and silvery patches, as well as black spots on leaves and berries. The thrips outbreak was first reported last week. The foundation also warned that Green scale infestation and leaf rust infestation would also likely increase, and the organization attributed much of the trouble to global warming.