Uganda News

Armyworms have spread to 38 regions, causing concern.

The African Armyworm has infested at least 38 regions, posing a danger to food security across the country.

This is an increase from the first 12 districts where the worms were first discovered a week ago.

The African Armyworm is a migratory moth with the most damaging larva stage (the caterpillar), which feeds on leaves and pasture.

Outbreaks occur when dry grasslands sprout new vegetation and cereal crops are planted at the start of wet seasons. The government declared Monday that Shs600 million will be spent in the fight against the worm.

MPs from the afflicted districts have urged the government to address the situation, warning that if it does not, the country will face famine and hunger.

“The Agriculture ministry alerted the country a few days ago that the African Armyworm has invaded the country, which feeds on 80 percent of the crops, including maize, legumes, and cotton,” Ms Musherure Shartsi Nayebare Kutesa, the Mawogola North County MP, stated. The spread of army worms appears to be linked to the consequences of climate change, according to entomologists.”

Mr. Fox Odoi, the West Budama North East County MP, has requested that the government investigate the worm outbreak.

“To come up with answers, the ministry should activate the district disaster preparedness committee,” he said.

The situation is concerning, according to Bukomansimbi South MP Geoffrey Kayemba Ssolo. He claims that if nothing is done, his primarily agricultural community will starve.

Humans and animals are at risk.

The pesticides the ministry is attempting to deploy, according to Mr Wilson Twinomugisha Kajwengye, the Nyabushozi County MP in Kiruhura District, a cattle-keeping village, are toxic to humans and animals.

Several other lawmakers echoed similar concerns, pleading with the administration to step in and preserve the situation.

Ms Anita Among, the Speaker of Parliament, has asked the government to take immediate action to eradicate the worm.

Ms Robinah Nabbanja, the Prime Minister, stated that the government has begun providing chemicals to spray the worms. She promised to give an update the next day.

The Ministry reacts

Agriculture Minister Frank Tumwebaze has gone on a statewide trip to sensitize farmers with the help of his subordinate ministers and technocrats.

At least 38 districts, according to Mr Tumwebaze, are already dealing with the worms.

“Today, MAAIF is providing more tools to affected districts, including 100 motorized pumps and 20,000 litres of cypermecilin,” he tweeted yesterday.

“The African Armyworm targets and attacks cereals and grasses/pastures,” said Maj Gen David Kasura Kyomukama, Permanent Secretary of the Agriculture Ministry. MAAIF is distributing pesticides and establishing control demonstration centers in the afflicted districts of Luwero, Mukono, Wakiso, Katakwi, Bukedea, Bugweri, Serere, Busia, Bugiri, Mityana, Kiryandongo, and Namutumba.”

“To control the worms, farmers are advised to use the insecticide Cypermethrin 5EC.” “For every 20 litres of water, a ratio of 100 to 120 millilitres is advised,” he noted.

Mr Kyakulaga Fred Bwino, the State Minister for Agriculture, said his government had purchased and supplied over 23,000 litres of insecticides to the affected districts.

Crop inspectors have been despatched to several districts to verify reports, determine pest status, and provide advise to district employees and farmers on control methods, according to him.

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