Several pineapple farms under the NAADS program in Masindi have been hit by a strange disease. Now the farmers are crying foul.
The affected gardens have the pineapples either drying out or rotting aways.
Bwijanga subcounty, far south of the district has been the worst affected by the blight.
Some of the affected farmers are under the National Agricultural Advisory Services-NAADS program.
Blasto Byabakama, the Masindi district extension coordinator, says samples of the diseased crops have been taken to Kawanda agricultural research center to ascertain the nature of the disease.
Byabakama however says that farmers could face a significant crop loss if the disease is not averted.
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Meanwhile, the NAADS program in Kigumba subcounty, north of Masindi has come under criticism after the banana suckers supplied there were all given to just one farmer.
Some farmers there have questioned the criteria that were used to give the suckers to just one farmer.
But Byabakama says many farmers in Kigumba were not serious and by the time the banana suckers were delivered, only one farmer had a ready garden.
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In Budongo subcounty, almost all farmers who applied for banana suckers to plant did not have ready gardens, when they were finally delivered. With no option, they decided to plant the suckers in the bush. All the bananas have died out, leading to loss of million s of shillings. The Cassava and bananas have also been hit by diseases.
The district has in the meantime stopped buying and selling of cassava stems to other districts and southern sudan. Byabakaba says this is aimed at reducing infections and shortages.
William Kabarole, the Masindi RDC says he has engaged security operatives to probe reports that lots of NAADs cash is being swindled. Byabakama however refutes this, saying there are just a few setbacks, mainly environmental and weather patterns.