Thursday, 11 May 2017

Uganda government should double its efforts to fight the maize army worm

The fall army worm is a threat to food security in Uganda and the East African region at large. The army worm, which was first reported in Southern African countries, has spread to Rwanda and Kenya. 
This worm does not just attack and destroy maize alone it also attacks millet, sorghum and sugarcane. To make the already bleak food situation in the country worse the army worm is proving resistant to available pesticides. 

According to Uganda's Ministry of Agriculture our farmers in their largely subsistence efforts have been producing 4 million tonnes of maize annually. But because of the army worm destruction which is reported in over 60 districts, there will be reduced production of maize in the country. 

By end of April 2017, according to the commissioner of crop production in the Ministry of Agriculture, the farmers have already lost 15% of this year's maize production to the fall army worm. This 15% loss does not include the losses maize farmers in some parts of the country have incurred due to crop failure resulting from drought. 

This means the price of maize flour which is a staple food for many Ugandans and schools will double as supply will reduce. The efforts to fight the army worm should be doubled otherwise we are headed for a serious food insecurity crisis. The hallmarks of this crisis are already manifested in areas like Katakwi and Isingiro districts which are receiving food handouts. The time to walk the talk is now .

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