KOBOKO. Affter giving headaches to farmers across Uganda in 2017, the armyworm infestation has already been detected in Koboko District in West Nile region of Uganda, ravaging maize plantations.
This was confirmed to West Nile web by the District Production Officer (DPO) of Koboko, Mr Stephen Onzima early this week.
Dranya sub county vice chairman, Mr George Okuga said, many farmers had started facing infestation of the dangerous armyworm which in 2017 left many farmers in the sub county with little harvests.
Okuga noted d that the infestation of the armyworm always created food insecurity in communities of Dranya subcounty.
"Most of the population in my area depend on small scale agriculture for survival and when the armyworm invades the place,it destroys maize and beans that most people produce in their gardens. This creates hunger in homes as people heavily depend on their farming." Okuga stresses.
He said since farmers in the area are rural farmers,many of them are defeated in buying chemicals that can be used to prevent the armyworm. Okuga called for intervention of Koboko District local government in preventing further spread of the worm before it is too late.
The district production officer acknowledged receiving formation through the sub county extention workers about the outbreak of the deadly worm from all the six rural sub counties of Koboko and the three Municipality divisions of Koboko municipality.
"Our extension workers are on the ground to feed us about the level of the outbreak and soon we are sending one of our technical staff for a training on control of armyworm organised by Uganda's Ministry of Agriculture,Animal Industry and Fisheries(MAAIF) in Lira district" Mr Onzima said.
He said currently, the local government did not have chemicals in the stores to be given to the farmers for control of armyworms but instead the district was working with ministry of Agriculture to solve the situation.
"This then prompts me to call upon the farmers to buy chemicals from the private sectors as the government keeps preparing for more intervention.There is no other effective local way of preventing the armyworm apart from a farmer buying the chemicals as killing manually by hand is less effective" Onzima emphasizes.
He also called upon farmers to inform the agricultural extension workers at the sub county levels about presence of the deadly worm such that they can be advised accordingly.