The National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) has advised farmers to pay attention to their gardens to counter possible threats related to the Fall Army Worm that recently hit maize farmers in 65 districts of Uganda.
Speaking on the sidelines of the World Bank’s Open Day event at Kololo Airstrip on May 30 Micheal Otim, the senior research officer at NARO told farmers “monitor closely your garden and spray using the right chemicals.”
Otim listed the chemicals farmers could rely on, saying Striker, Dudu Fonus, Roket and Truban would eliminate the pests. He said that these chemicals are available on the Ugandan market.
If not countered, the African army worm could potentially cause a 50% crop loss, according to Otim.
Government officials and international bodies like the International Monetary Fund have revised GDP growth for Uganda to 3.5-4% this financial year (2016/17) from the earlier projections of 5-6% partly due to drought that failed agricultural crops in most parts of the year.
Government and experts worry that the Army Worm [and drought] could make the already bad situation worse if not quickly managed.
Imelda Kashaija, the deputy director general in charge of agriculture technology promotion at the research body said that countering drought and Army Worm requires early planting of drought and pest resistant varieties for the common crops.
“Visit NARO institutes that are near you to get more details,” Kashaija said.
She said that for cassava, they recommend NAROCASS1 and NAROCASS2 which are resistant to cassava mosaic and tolerant to cassava brownstreak virus. She said that there are specific varieties for beans, suit potatoes, maize that NARO is recommending and are found at Victoria, Pearl, Fica and Naseko – all companies dealing in farming seeds.
NARO was among the over 50 government agencies and some few private companies that exhibited their work at the one day Open event that attracted over 1000 people.
All exhibitors at the event are connected to the World Bank’s development programmes in the country.
Charlotte Kemigyisha, the Principle Public Relations Officer for NARO told The Independent that over 800 technologies have been developed and used by NARO using World Bank’s financial and related support.