Mbale Farmers Suffer Heavy Loses From Large Grain Borer

2553 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Farmers in Bungokho Sub-County in Mbale district are counting heavy losses caused by larger grain borer.

Farmers in Bungokho Sub-County in Mbale district are counting heavy losses caused by larger grain borer.

Larger grain borer, a highly destructive pest, has caused heavy post harvest loses to farmers in Buwelu and Luyakhe villages in Bungokho South Constituency.

So severe is the problem that in some homes, the pest has destroyed the entire maize stock that had been harvested and kept in the store.

In Luyakhe, the pest has left farmers, who had hoped to use last season’s harvest for food and to raise money for their children’s school dues, frustrated.

Patrick Masike, a resident of Luyakhe, is one of the farmers who have faced the brunt of the destructive pest. Masike was shocked when he recently opened the store and found his maize stock had turned into something like dust.

Masike had stored the maize with the hope of selling it in future when the prices have improved. He appeals to government to help farmers in the area with insecticides that can wipe out the pest.

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Julius Peter Ayo, the Mbale District Agricultural Officer says experts from the ministry of agriculture carried out a field survey and confirmed the outbreak of the pest in Bungokho South.

He claims that some politicians from the area wanted the outbreak not to be made public for fear that it would affect market for agricultural produce from the affected area. He says agricultural experts suspect the pest could have originated from either Kenya or Northern Tanzania and spread to the area as a result of cross border trade in agricultural produce.

Ayo says his office submitted a report to the ministry of agriculture which has not yet responded.