A poor harvest in 2014-15, historic drought in 2015-16, and the second-worst cyclone on record in 2019 have taken a toll on Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector, according to the World Food Programme, creating dire consequences for a country whose population entirely depends on rain-fed agriculture.
The disease affects the colour of the banana fingers and bunches from green to brown or black, according to one of the affected farmers Nestori Aturinda. He says that the disease eventually results in premature ripening and shrinking of the banana’s, yet even when cooked, they remain hard and inedible.
The government deployment Local Defence Unit personnel to spray the locusts using hand-held sprays. But State Minister for Animal Husbandry Bright Rwamirama says that aircraft for the aerial spray was cleared yesterday and will be stationed in Moroto district. Another aircraft has been hired for backup.
Godfrey Ssenkaayi, a Senior Entomologist at Masaka District, says their analysis on the specimen of insects conducted alongside scientists from Ministry of Agriculture has ascertained that these were not the highly destructive desert locusts.