Kabarole District Boosts Operations of Plant Clinics


In short
The Kabalore District Production Department has allocated 400 Million Shillings to set up three plant clinics in each Sub County and purchase of pesticides for farmers. Previously there were four plant clinics in the whole district.

Kabarole District Production department has boosted the operations of the Plant Clinics in a bid to increase agricultural productivity. It follows complaints from farmers who have been finding difficulties to treat crop pests and diseases.

Plant Clinics operate in public places like markets and are widely used by farmers to identify the causes of plant health problems and find solutions.  The Kabarole District Production Department has allocated 400 Million Shillings to set up three plant clinics in each Sub County and purchase of pesticides for farmers.  Previously there were four Plant Clinics in the whole district. 

Rose Mpaka, an extension officer in-charge Bunyagabu County says farmers embraced cassava cultivation for their domestic consumption and commercial purposes, but lost many acres of their  gardens to the Cassava Brown Streak Virus.  She explains that they resolved to set up plant clinics in the area to advice farmers on how to contain the disease to avoid further damage. 

// Cue in: part of the cassava…

 Cue out: "…destroy the cassava.''//

URN visited one of the new Plant Clinics in Hakibale Sub County, where more than 20 farmers had taken samples of their diseased crops. The farmers were taught by extension officers and plant doctors on how to treat their crops and the recommended pesticides they should use. 

Flavia Byenkya, one of the farmers says that she wasn't aware how to treat the disease, until she visited the Plant Clinic. She explains that the clinics are a far more effective model for advising farmers than the traditional one where agricultural extension workers visit farms.

Patricia Rukundo, a plant doctor at Hakibale Plant Clinic, says that the response of the farmers is positive. She says that they receive more than twenty farmers daily who come to the clinic to seek advice on how to treat their food crops and the right chemicals to use. 

//Cue in: "on average twenty…
Cue out: "…use chemicals."//

According to the Britain-based Center for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), an organization behind the establishment of plant clinics in Uganda, up to 40 percent of the food grown worldwide is lost to pests and diseases before it can be consumed. 


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.