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Caterpillars Invade Gardens in Luwero :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Caterpillars Invade Gardens in Luwero

Ssemigga says that the caterpillars have so far ravaged the gardens of 30 farmers in Kiteme, Mpologoma, Buwenge, Malungu, Kasolo, and Buto villages among others.

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Farmers in Luwero district are in fear of losing their crops following an invasion of caterpillars. Wilberforce Ssemigga, the Luwero District Agriculture Officer, has confirmed the invasion of the Giant Looper caterpillars, which attack gardens and feed on the leaves of mangoes and bananas.

Ssemigga says that the caterpillars have so far ravaged the gardens of 30 farmers in Kiteme, Mpologoma, Buwenge, Malungu, Kasolo, and Buto villages among others. Ssemigga explains that the caterpillars are at the most dangerous stage of the moths and they have since secured insecticides to fight them before they spread to other gardens.

//Cue in: “Currently we have

Cue out;…interventions.’’//

Luganda Byte

//Cue in: “Nga district…

Cue out;…akasanyi kano,”//

Godfrey Sseguya, the LC 1 chairperson of Kitobola village explains that the caterpillars have caused great damage to the crops plunging the farmers into losses. Ssepuya says that the farmers bought various agro chemicals and sprayed them against the caterpillars in vain.

// Cue in: “Oluvanyuma lwa wiiki… 

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Yasin Sseruga, a banana farmer at Mpologoma village says that the caterpillars destroyed his two acres of bananas exposing his family to hunger. The farmers have asked the Ministry of Agriculture to donate recommended insecticides to spray against the caterpillars saying that they can’t afford to buy the agrochemicals.

The Ministry of Agriculture has already recommended the use of Cypermethrin insecticides to fight the caterpillars. The young caterpillars usually eat pits on the upper leaf surface and older feed on the leaf margins leaving a jagged edge. The caterpillars come in different colors including pale grey, dark brown, and green.

In past years, Maize farmers in the Luwero district have also struggled to fight the recurrence of other caterpillars -the fall armyworms, which always leave a trail of destruction when they attack gardens. The fall armyworm was first reported in Luwero in 2017. The pest can cause crop losses of up to 73 percent and once it is at an advanced larval development stage can become difficult to control with pesticides. As farmers embark on planting, agriculture officers have warned them to be on the lookout for the recurrence of the fall armyworms this year.

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