We Need Joint Spraying of Fall Armyworm - Bulambuli Farmer

2353 Views Bulambuli, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Gibutayi Florence, the Chairperson of Tabu Integrated Cooperative Society says the current arrangement in which farmers individually spray their gardens seems not to be effective.

A leader of a Women's cooperative in Bulambuli district wants the government to put in place a measure to ensure that farmers jointly spray their maize gardens against the Fall Armyworm.

Gibutayi Florence, the Chairperson of Tabu Integrated Cooperative Society says the current arrangement in which farmers individually spray their gardens is not effective enough.
 
She said forking out thousands of shillings for a pesticide could be put to waste if neighbouring gardens are untreated as the worms would simply move from one garden to another.

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Gibutayi says much as every farmer desire to have their gardens sprayed; many are being locked out because of the high cost of purchasing the pesticides.

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Some farmers according to Gibutayi have had to forego some of their basic requirements so as to buy the pesticides fearing that the Fall Armyworm could destroy their entire maize plantations.

She thinks joint spraying would be more effective and less costly compared to the method being used now. 

In neighboring Rwanda where the Fall Armyworm has just been confirmed, the government there has deployed employed the army to spray in all areas where it has been found.

The Commissioner in Charge of Crop Protection , Stephen Byantwale told Uganda Radio Network that all farmers whose crops have been infested are under the law required to enforce control measures like spraying or face penalties. 

According to the 2015 Plant Protection and Health Law, every occupier or owner of land has the obligation to take measure described by the government officers like crop inspectors or Commissioner Crop Protection.

Meanwhile, Byantwale says farmers from districts where there has been a reported stock out of the pesticides should not panic. He says they can try using a range of other contact pesticides.
 
Contact pesticide are said to be effective because the chemical needs to come in contact with the worms to be effective. It is recommended to spray when the crop is still young.

To prevent development of insecticide resistance, some experts recommend alternated application of insecticides in different groups such as pyrethroids, carbamates and organophosphates.