Small farmers in the villages have started to embrace the system of bee keeping to deal with thieves who have been invading fields and stealing crops at night.
Criminals are said to target the harvesting of bananas, corn, sweet potatoes, sugar cane, avocados, beans and cassava, thus causing losses to farmers, most of whom lack produce to take to the market.
According to the press who visited Gwa Kungu area, Laikipia County on the Nyahururu-Nyeri road, where they found out that farmers have turned to beekeeping, after getting tired of fruit being stolen.
The situation is similar in the area of Ikonge, Busiango, Ekerenyo and Kebirigo in Nyamira County. Teacher Edwin Nyariki from Kebirigo told media that the challenge faced by many farmers here is the theft of crops while in the field.
He says the farmers who have been suffering are those who have farms far away from their homes. He says that beekeeping has been seen to bear fruit because when thieves realize that a farmer has kept bees, they are afraid to approach their fields.
In addition, some of them are having a lot of trouble because they do not know where the beehives were placed. According to Nyariki, there has been a very small number of thefts in farms where farmers have decided to invest in beekeeping projects.
He revealed that in recent days, many farmers have intervened in beekeeping to help them protect their fields especially at night, when they are sleeping. Normally, teacher Nyariki says bees don’t like to be disturbed so he decided to keep them because apart from giving him honey, they serve as night guards.
In addition, Mwalimu Nyariki says that the police must put in place strategies to help farmers protect their crops, recommending that the perpetrators of theft be taken to strict legal action.
On the other hand, Faith Kemunto, a seller of bananas and sugarcane at the Ikonge commercial center, says thieves search farmers’ fields during the day before carrying out thefts at night. On Wednesday last week (November 22, 2023), he points out that thieves invaded his farm and harvested most of the sugar cane in his farm.
“Although we have been reporting these cases to the police stations, they have not been taking any action while the elders of ten houses and chiefs seem to be overwhelmed,” he said.
Kemunto says he was very angry, considering that he was counting on the sugarcane to pay for his children’s tuition next year, 2024. He says cases like this started to be reported at the end of 2022, after the election campaign activities were completed.