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Farmers Worried as Strange Pests Invade Plantations in Masaka

Many believed that the type of green bubble-coloured, short-horned grasshopper which was cited in different plantations in Lwega parish was a swarm of highly destructive wild locusts, which were in the recent past cited in Kenya.
A resident showing in pineaple plantition part of which was burnt to supress the strande insects

Audio 5

The appearance of strange pests in plantations across Buwunga sub-county in Masaka district has thrown farmers into a panic.

Many believed that the type of green bubble-coloured, short-horned grasshopper which was cited in different plantations in Lwega parish was a swarm of highly destructive wild locusts, which were in the recent past cited in Kenya.

Buwunga Sub County extension worker Rose Luswete indicates that a swam of strange insects invaded pineapple plantations, eating leaves and other soft plants. She explains that the community got concerned after realising that the insects were bigger than an ordinary grasshopper, and were not responding to pesticides.

//Cue in; “we had an…    

Cue out.... green plants.”// 

Luganda //Cue in; “eggulo tuba…   

Cue out...byabadde bingi.”//

URN has witnessed slight damages the insects have caused to the plantations, as seen in the deep holes poked in the leaves.

Fulgencio Kiyimba, one of the farmers whose pineapple plantation has been attacked says he is worried that the insects may evolve into more disastrous pests that may devastate crops in the agricultural-based region.

 

Luganda //Cue in; "tusaba batwanguyire…

  Cue out....tebayogera n’akubiwuka.”// 

Buwunga Sub-county chairperson Francis Kimuli has appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture to make thorough studies on the pests and find a reliable response.  He fears that if left to freely multiply in the gardens, the insects could threaten food security in the area.

//Cue in; “we had an opportunity….    

Cue out; …..goes beyond.// 

Luganda //Cue in: “n’olwekyo njagala….    

Cue out…..okutwalira awamu.”//   

However, Masaka District Production Officer, Doctor Lawrence Mayiga, indicated that  entomologists have ascertained that although strange in outward appearance, the insects are not the desert locusts that invaded parts of Kenya.

He explains that they picked samples of the insects for further expert analysis with teams from the Food and Agriculture Organization-FAO which will lead them to possible solutions.  Mayiga has asked the farmers to patiently wait for the process that has started off.