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Panic as locust-lookalike pests attack plantations in Masaka

The locust-lookalike pests attacked plants in Masaka

The locust-lookalike pests attacked plants in Masaka

An invasion of strange pests attacking plantations in Buwunga sub-county in Masaka district in central Uganda has thrown farmers into a panic.

Many believed that the type of green bubble-coloured, short-horned grasshopper which was cited in different plantations in Lwega parish was an advance swarm of the highly destructive wild locusts, which have been ravaging plantations in neighbouring Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

Buwunga extension worker, Rose Luswete indicates that a swarm of strange insects invaded pineapple plantations, eating leaves and other soft plants. She explains that the community got concerned after realising that the insects were bigger than an ordinary grasshopper, and were not responding to pesticides.

 
"We heard a drumming alarm and we came to see. We found 'locusts' had surrounded the area. One member of the community gave us an insecticide to spray them, we tried selamectin but they were just docile. Then, later on, one member came in with petrol and we had to burn them. You see with petrol, we succeeded because they [insects] were in a group. But now a question comes if they land in the whole garden, how will you burn? It is only one village so far Kabukutu village because it was our first time to see such. They are interested in only green plants." said Luswete.  

Our reporter witnessed slight damages the insects have caused to the plantations, as seen in the deep holes poked in the leaves. Fulgencio Kiyimba, one of the farmers whose pineapple plantation has been attacked says he is worried that the insects may evolve into more disastrous pests that may devastate crops in the agricultural-based region.

Buwunga sub-county chairperson Francis Kimuli has appealed to the ministry of Agriculture to make thorough studies on the pests and find a reliable response. He fears that if left to freely multiply in the gardens, the insects could threaten food security in the area.

However, Masaka district production officer, Dr Lawrence Mayiga, indicated that entomologists in the region have ascertained that although strange in outward appearance, the insects are not the desert locusts that invaded parts of Kenya.

He explains that they picked samples of the insects for further expert analysis with teams from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which will lead them to possible solutions. Mayiga has asked the farmers to patiently wait for the process that has started off. Government recently set aside Shs 15 billion to combat the expected locust invasion. 

Comments

-2 #1 WADADA rogers 2020-02-05 21:40
These are artificial insects that have been created to extort money from us
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+2 #2 Lysol 2020-02-05 22:31
There are many so-called entomologists in Uganda, but many have joined the intelligence agency to protect the corrupt regime instead of serving the poor Ugandans.

Shame on them!
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+1 #3 rubangakene 2020-02-05 23:03
These insects are called "otwongo" in Lwo and they are as ravaging as locusts are but do not travel log distances and die within a short time.

Anyone born in Northern Uganda the 50s or 60s will be familiar with these insects. What I am wondering now is; why are all these Professors, Readers and other specialists within our many universities quiet and not coming up with solutions?

That is in part what these institutions are there for!
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0 #4 Stewart 2020-02-06 12:01
Quoting WADADA rogers:
These are artificial insects that have been created to extort money from us


I agree with you, its like the infamous Ebola in Bombo sometimes back.
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0 #5 Empayippayi 2020-02-06 14:48
Quoting rubangakene:
These insects are called "otwongo" in Lwo and they are as ravaging as locusts are but do not travel log distances and die within a short time.

Anyone born in Northern Uganda the 50s or 60s will be familiar with these insects. What I am wondering now is; why are all these Professors, Readers and other specialists within our many universities quiet and not coming up with solutions?

That is in part what these institutions are there for!

They are pre-occupied with how to get rich quick!
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0 #6 Lakwena 2020-02-07 14:18
Quoting Lysol:
There are many so-called entomologists in Uganda, but many have joined the intelligence agency to protect the corrupt regime instead of serving the poor Ugandans.

Shame on them!


E.g. Lysol, although the threat of a Locust invasion is a present danger; Prof. Ogenga Latigo, one of Agago District MPs is an entomologists, but he is quiet like someone resting in peace.

In other words, while the wretched of the earth in this country/continent, are staring doom in the eyes; many of our leaders have already settled down in their comfort zones and checking their finger nails.
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+1 #7 Lysol 2020-02-07 21:46
Quoting Lakwena:
Quoting Lysol:
There are many so-called entomologists in Uganda, but many have joined the intelligence agency to protect the corrupt regime instead of serving the poor Ugandans.

Shame on them!


E.g. Lysol, although the threat of a Locust invasion is a present danger; Prof. Ogenga Latigo, one of Agago District MPs is an entomologists, but he is quiet like someone resting in peace.

In other words, while the wretched of the earth in this country/continent, are staring doom in the eyes; many of our leaders have already settled down in their comfort zones and checking their finger nails.


They say those who can teach can't do.

Most of the so-called professors are boring and are always out of teach with real life.
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