The government has deployed Uganda People’s Defense Force-UPDF to fight African armyworms that have so far invaded about 40 districts in different parts of the country.
The UPDF has on several occasions been praised by President Museveni for “successfully” fighting locusts in 2020 though this left many unanswered accountability-related questions.
Now, several experts & leaders have questioned the involvement of UPDF in fighting armyworms;wondering why district extension workers and other relevant technocrats aren’t supported.
Hon. Christine Kaaya Nakimwero,the woman MP Kiboga who is an expert in land use and previously coordinated the Parliamentary Forum on Climate Change-Uganda (PFCC-U),says the government should support technocrats.
Extension workers or agricultural officers are allocated ugx700,000 annually,to do their job.
African armyworms have so far destroyed 13,000 acres of crops & rangeland in different districts including Kiruhura here in western Uganda,and other parts like Luwero, Mukono, Wakiso, Katakwi, Bukedea, Bugweri, Serere, Busia, Bugiri, Mityana, Kiryandongo, Nakasongola, Kayunga,etc leaving many farmers worried.
According to the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries-MAAIF,Hon Frank Tumwebaze,the ministry has deployed more tools to the affected districts including 100 motorised pumps & 20,000 litres of cypermethrin,and entomologists are doing their best.
Emergency control of armyworms is through use of chemical control; cypermethrin 5% at dosage of 100-120 milliliters in 20 litres of water or if you use profenofos 40%+cypermethrin 4% use 30-40 millitres in 20 litres of water.
Farmers have also been advised to withdraw from affected paddocks for at least 7 days without grazing in those paddocks.
Environmentalist attribute this to changes in seasons since some now expect that when rain will kill these armyworms, as food security experts say it’s a great threat requiring urgent attention.
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