Caterpillars Invade Potato Gardens In Kabale

1645 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
Hundreds of potato gardens have been destroyed by the deadly herbivore caterpillars that attacked three sub counties in Kabale district.

Hundreds of potato gardens have been destroyed by the deadly herbivore caterpillars that attacked three sub counties in Kabale district.
 
 Herbivore caterpillars, the larvae form of the Sweet potato butterfly is now reported in the sub counties of Hamurwa, Bubaare and Ikumba. The affected farmers say the caterpillars attack all types of sweet potatoes and cause considerable damage with the capacity of causing 100% yield loss.
 
Leticia Ainebyoona, a farmer from Igomanda Parish in Hamurwa Sub County, says caterpillars eat up all the leaves before attacking the stem or veins.
 
John Mugisha, another farmer from Ruhonwa Parish says that his potato garden of approximately five acres has been destroyed by caterpillars that ate up all the leaves.
 
He says that caterpillars have eaten up everything leaving him pondering on the next move.
 
Edison Hillman, the Kabale district agricultural officer, says the Young caterpillars hatch in large groups inside a nest formed of several leaves joined with web before feeding on the upper leaf surface, and the leaves of the nest become brown and shriveled.
 
He further reveals that older larvae become solitary and feed at night, usually remaining on the soil during daylight.
 
He identifies the seriously affected areas as Kashongati, Kihiira, Rwabakyenga, Kagumira and Ruhonwa parish in Hamurwa sub couty where over 500 households have been affected.
 
Hillman further revealed that there is fear that the caterpillars will spread to sub-counties.
 
Kabale district information officer, Jennifer Nsibo Rukundo, told Uganda Radio Network that the district have moved in to save the situation and has embarked on sensitizing farmers on how the caterpillars can be dealt with.
 
//Cue in: “In Kabale district…
Cue out:…control the butterfly.’’//
 
She further revealed that the district has sent a report to the Agriculture ministry and that they have responded by sending the first batch of the pesticides which will help the farmers in doing away with the infestation.
 
//Cue out: “We sent a…
Cue out:…on control.”//

 

About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.