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NARO conducting research on desert locusts

FILE PHOTO: Desert locusts

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Agricultural Research Organization –NARO is conducting a research on a total of 200 desert locusts.

Winfred Aol Opiyo, an Entomologist at National Agricultural Research Organization –NARO told URN in an interview that the scientific investigation will determine the correct dose of chemicals being used depending on the life stage of the insects, the reproductive potential of the insects in relation to what they feed on and among other things.

Aol also revealed that the research will find out if the desert locusts can mate with other grasshopper species to form another breed and whether they can be used for making animal and poultry feeds or not.

The pests were confined in the NARO’s laboratory located at Kawanda in Wakiso district on the 17th February this year after they invaded Uganda on February 9th from Amudat district in Karamoja sub region. The study will last until December this year.

A recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization –FAO indicates the more than 23 districts in Uganda have so far been invaded by the desert locusts. These are districts in Acholi, Lango, Karamoja, Sebei and Teso Sub –Regions.

Stephen Tibeijuka Byantwale, the Commissioner Food Protection in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries says everyone has a role to play in the control of the desert locusts that invaded the country and acquiring knowledge about the insects is very important.

He also revealed that the Food and Agriculture Organization has trained local leaders and extension workers countrywide on the aspect of desert locust control as provided for in the contingency plan.

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