The destructive caterpillars invaded the Sub-counties of Lungulu, Got Apwoyo, and Purongo at the start of the farming season last month.
African Armyworms. courtesy Photo
farmers in Nwoya District are struggling to graze their animals following the
invasion of African armyworms.
The destructive caterpillars invaded the Sub-counties of Lungulu,
Got Apwoyo, and Purongo at the start of the farming season last month.
Geoffrey Ojok, a farmer and Local Chairperson of Layila Village in Got Apwoyo
Sub-county says the caterpillars have so far destroyed five acres of finger
millets and ground nuts his family planted.
He says the family had injected 2 million shillings into the
agricultural venture but lost it all after the worms destroyed them.
Ojok also notes that green pastures for feeding his goats have become very
scarce since most of them have been eaten up while the available green grasses
have become a nesting ground for the worms.
“I can’t take my goats for grazing now because there is no green pasture the
caterpillars haven’t invaded in this village. The only safe area is around the
swamps which are very far from my home,” Ojok says.
He says their efforts to spray against the pests using pesticides haven’t
yielded positive results in eliminating them.
Okumu, another livestock farmer in the same village equally says his animals
cannot find pastures since the worms have eaten most of the fresh grasses in
Okumu says he has been trekking for long distances in areas where the worms
haven’t invaded to graze his herds of 20 goats.
“If this continues, we shall have nowhere to graze our animals, and eventually
they will die because they (animals) can’t eat grasses infested with worms. We
need urgent government help,” He says. Okumu is among hundreds of farmers in
Got Apwoyo who have already lost hundreds of acres of crops to the destructive
pests within a month only.
Dr. James Ukwir, Nwoya District Senior Production officer acknowledged the
invasion of the pests saying besides pastures, they are destroying cereal food
crops like rice, Maize, and Finger millets.
He says by Monday this week, farmers had reported the destruction of 967 acres
of crops in the three sub-counties.
instance, in Purongo Sub-county, the worms destroyed 45 acres of rice, 5 acres
of Maize, and 54 acres of Maize crops while in Lungulu, 120 acres of rice, 520 acres of maize, and 71 acres of finger millets have been destroyed.
Dr. Ukwir another 82 acres of maize and 21 acres of rice crops have also been
eaten by the worms in Got Apwoyo Sub-county.
He however anticipates that the magnitude of destruction may be worst in
the coming days and appealed to the government to intervene.
“We have already written to the government about the invasion of the
caterpillars. We are also sensitizing the community on how they can manage the
pests through spraying with Rocket pesticide,” Dr. Ukwir said.
District Production officer Godfrey Jomo Oyet says a case of armyworm invasion
has been registered on Sunday in Lakwana Sub-county in Lujorongole Parish
adding that their team has been sent on the ground to assess the magnitude of
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry And Fisheries-MAAIF has indicated
that the worms have now spread to 38 districts in the country and affected more
than 1,400 farmers on 5,415 hectares of land.
is now encouraging farmers to use 100-120 Mls Cypermethrin 5EC insecticide
mixed in 20 liters of water to spray their crops against the worms.
Bureau Chief, West Acholi