Zeferiyano Byaruhanga, one of the affected farmers in Nyakanyinya II in Kasaana Sub-county, says that an infected banana turns color and hardens. He says the bananas turn into black or brown while the leaves dry up.
Farmers in Sheema
district are battling a strange Banana disease outbreak. The disease has been
reported in the sub-counties of Rugarama, Kasaana, Kigarama, Masheruka and
Kakindo Town Councils.
Zeferiyano Byaruhanga, one of the affected farmers in Nyakanyinya II in Kasaana
Sub-county, says that an infected banana turns colour and hardens. He says the bananas turn black or brown
while the leaves dry up.
He says that the disease was first noticed in
September last year but disappeared and has returned affecting almost every
plantation in the area.
//Cue in: “omutumba nigwija gwooma…
Cue out: …nka rukura
Juma Mushabe, the LC I Chairperson Bigona II in Rugarama Sub County, says the
disease is wiping out banana plantations in the village. He says that they have
only been advised to get rid of the infected plantation as the only available
Barbra Kyokusiima, a resident of Kyangundu ward in Kakiindo
Town council, says that farmers are struggling to deal with the disease
outbreak. She says that the only option left for them is to destroy the
affected suckers as advised by the extension workers.
David Twinamastiko, the senior Agricultural Officer of Sheema district confirms
the disease outbreak. He identifies it as the Black and Brown Rust thrips. He
says the disease is transmitted by the wind, farm tools or Thrips, which eat and
peel off the outer skin of the banana finger exposing it to fungus, which later
turns the colour of the finger into brown or black.
//Cue in: “the thrips are…
Cue out: …by the thrips.”//
He says the disease is common during the dry spell because
when it rains the flies or fungi is washed away leaving the banana clean and
safe. He says it is hard to tell the disease in its early stages unless the
banana fingers turn colour. He, however, says that they have dispatched samples to
Kawanda Agriculture Research Center to find treatment for the disease.
//Cue in: “you cannot…
Cue out: …a dry spell.”//
He says that the current solution is for the farmers to use the traditional
practices they use to fight off the banana bacterial wilt to check further
spread. This includes removing the buds of the bananas two weeks after
flowering, sanitizing farm tools with jik, eliminating the affected plants and
burring or destroying them completely.
The disease outbreak is an addition to
other two banana diseases including the Banana Bacterial wilt and Fusarium wilt,
which have hit the district. The Banana Bacterial wilt and Fusarium wilt have
been reported across all Sub Counties and Town councils in Sheema district.