Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) announced on Monday that is looking to develop mosquito insecticides from locally grown pyrethrum flowers. This is good news to Kenya’s pyrethrum farmers in the country who are set to be the first hand beneficiaries of the project.
In her bid to contain the deadly malaria disease that claims nearly 23,000 lives in the East African, plans to replace the synthetic insecticides available in the country with pyrethrum-based insecticide.
KEMRI announced plans for the study after the country’s health ministry discovered from a research that the synthetic pyrethroids cannot kill 60% of the malaria-causing mosquitos. The study is also aimed and providing a lasting solution to the mosquito menace that is increasingly becoming resistant towards the available synthetic pyrethrum.
Kenya’s pyrethrum farmers are set to be the major benefactors as if the study and trials are success it will mean that a Pyrethrum plant will be established by the Kenya Pyrethrum Directorate and as a result increasing the demand for pyrethrum.
While Pyrethrum Directorate has been producing natural insecticides on trial bases, this is set to change in the event the study by KEMRI is successful.
The pyrethroid-resistant mosquito pose a major threat to the country’s population as it could increase the number of malaria-caused deaths in the country if nothing is done and done fast.
Professor Solomon Mpoke the KEMRI Director said that other than enhancing the malaria fighting strategies the use of natural pyrethrum in making domestic insecticides is a win-win for all the stakeholders.
For the farmers there will be increased earnings from the pyrethrum, country’s GDP will see a new source of revenue and above all the mosquito-related diseases will reduce to a minimum.